Google has released Pigeon, a local SEO update that everyone in the SEO industry is talking about. After the dust has settled, several individuals have made claims to who the winners and losers are. We believe that it will take more time to really see who the true winners are, but for now we can speculate with the rest of them.
What We Know About Pigeon
Pigeon was coined by Search Engine Land, as seen here on their original post titled Pigeon: Search Engine Lands name For The New Google Local Search Update. Google has stated that this algorithm change not only improves distance and local results based on a users location, but also correlates more to their standard web search features and those ranking signals we are all familiar with.
What We Have Seen From Pigeon So Far
Search Engine Land has also shared information about how local search results that include Yelp in the query are now ranking ahead of the business website. This is interesting because Yelp has made claims that Google purposely places their results below others in result to promote its own local services. Yelp can complain no more, they have been noted as the biggest winner thus far in the algorithm change.
We have also seen that the quality of the results appears better, and the search features are changing. The search feature local pack, where Google displays 7 local listings in the search results for local terms, has seen a steep decrease, and now an upswing as seen below.
The ugly local carousel that we despise also had a decrease, then bounced back after a few days as seen below.
Google is paying attention to local search results, which is great. We believe that local search is going to continue to grow and as it grows Google will continue its efforts into making better search features and improve quality in the rankings. This is great news for local businesses everywhere. If you are a local business and reading this, you need to start focusing on ensuring that you have proper markup on your site for local, proper local citations and listings and ensure that your website is optimized well for local search.