The Pigeon Algorithm And Local Search
Author : Bharati Ahuja
There are many businesses which majorly cater to the local market and would like to focus on targeting the local traffic on the search engines. For such businesses even on organic search the search queries with a local intent are the priority for their search presence.
Google also takes local search very seriously and since a long time has been improving the quality of local search results in terms of display, listing management and also trying to measure the public opinion in terms of reviews for these listings.
The recent development being discussed is the Pigeon Algorithm (A name given by Search Engine Land after Google discussed about an upcoming algorithm for local search with Danny Sullivan)
The update has been pushed out to U.S. English based search results and the update impacts both the organic local listings within Google Map Search and Google Web Search.
SEL shared that Google has also informed Danny Sullivan that the new local search algorithm ties deeper into their web search capabilities, including the hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search along with search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms and more. Furthermore, Google has not commented on the percent of queries impacted by this algorithm update, nor if certain web spam algorithms were deployed in this update.
The local search listings are majorly influenced by submitting details in Google places now known as ‘My Business’ which also creates a default local Google+ page when you add the address details and also updates it on Google Maps. Once verified by the owner the listing goes live and depending on the details submitted it gets co related to the service and the place where the business is located. Any business can claim such a listing even if they do not have a website.
Further this listing gets a boost when people (Customers and Clients) add genuine reviews and ratings logging in to their Google Accounts.
A business targeting local traffic must not only focus on local search but should also focus on search queries having a local intent. As in many countries the local search results are not displayed on Google search results and in such cases they can benefit by having a presence on organic search results as such long tail queries will be less competitive and the potential of getting better rankings will be higher and more targeted.