Google Pigeon – will it help or hinder your site?

03 Sep

We’ve come to expect Google changes on an almost daily basis, so nobody in the office were too shocked when rumours began to circulate last month of a major algorithm change relating to local search. And, like all major changes, it wasn’t long until the algorithm had an animal-inspired name – enter Google Pigeon.


Pigeon, which took flight in late July, is presently restricted to people making US English searches and has sent many businesses reeling, with just as many enjoying improved rankings in the wake of the shake-up. Billed by many as one of the biggest changes to Google local search since 2012, the leap has been made in effort to realise more traditional organic results and is expected to be rolled out to Google UK in due time.


Recently released data from BrightEdge has shed light on the type of businesses that have been affected.


Hospitality, Food and Education related searches were found to have grown 28, 19 and 13 percent respectively. Others to benefit include Spa, Shop, Law, Medical, Transportation and Fitness related terms.


On the flipside, there were a large number of queries that have been negatively affected by the Pigeon update.


Jobs, Real Estate, Movie and Insurance related terms fell by 68, 63, 36 and 11 percent. These were trailed by Finance, Furniture and Government which also recorded losses.


The question everyone has been asking is, ‘How should we adapt to Google Pigeon?’, and the answer is simple: Optimise your Google+ page, the data flowing into directory sites and your local content. By taking the aforementioned measures you’ll be able to take full of advantage of these new changes and cement yourself as a local industry leader.


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Gareth Owen