Understanding ‘Google Pigeon’ update and ways to undo its negative impact
What is Google pigeon?
The newest algorithm update by Google has been labeled as ‘pigeon’. It rolled out on July 24th 2014, and though not much information is available about its details, reports are showing a substantial difference in the local search results.
What it aims for?
While all the previous algorithms (Panda and Penguin) were aimed at improving SERPs, Pigeon is not meant to penalize anyone or target low quality content. It is aimed at increasing the relevancy, and accuracy of local search results. The update has already impacted results in English language; it remains unknown as to when it would be implemented in other languages and in other countries.
What can you do to save yourself from Google Pigeon?
Let us take a look at what changes pigeon has brought into the local searches, and what the websites that have been affected by it can do to mitigate the loss.
1. Work on website authority
Speculations are that the new algorithm functions on the traditional pattern, just like the way regular search rankings are determined. This means, that ranking of local websites will be influenced by the authority of it, quality of back links, and other common SEO elements.
If you observe a sudden drop in your rank, it may mean that your site is lacking in terms of what is considered ideal on SEO front. Do some research to find out how you differ in terms of content, back links and SEO compared to websites that are ranking higher.
2. Getting registered with local directory sites
The most noticeable change that has been observed by webmasters everywhere is that local directory websites such as Yelp are experiencing an excellent boost in their visibility. In fact, there are some queries that are showing results coming from directories only.
Here is what can be done to increase a website’s visibility. To regain the lost rankings, it is advised to get registered with leading directory sites in the industry.
Check out which directories are ranking highest for a given keyword now that Pigeon has rolled out. After finding out, get your brand listed with all of those sites.
3. Why do you need to understand Carousel results well?
While other local result packs are largely affected by Pigeon, carousel results have not been impacted by this algorithm. They are still showing up in the same pattern and frequency like earlier. It means websites still have a tried and tested outlet to secure more exposure for their keywords. However it must be noted that carousel listing present just one percent of keyword queries.
Here is how to make the most of it. A brand’s image (picture) and its reviews are two elements which are emphasized by carousel results. It shows other options in the same category along side as well. Therefore, put an appealing high-quality picture in the Google+ profile, and use techniques to secure positive business reviews.
Some more practices and suggestions for improved local rankings:
- Create an individual page for your local business on Google+ profile. After that verify your listing’s ownership by entering the pin received by Google.
- If a website wishes to appear against queries like ‘best psychiatrist in Brooklyn ‘ , make sure to get the website categorized in psychiatry field. If the category happens to be in medical field you will lose the chance of securing results crucial to search terms.
- Use phone number with local area code as primary contact number on the Google+ page. This is a great practice.
- Google looks for those websites that a brand has linked with from Google Place and Google+ local page. It cross references the address, contact number and name of the business. Make sure all these elements match with each other.
- Another tip to fight the negative impact of pigeon update is to secure as many positive reviews from customers on Google+ local page as possible. Get reviews from customers on other third-party sources as well. Positive reviews have always had constructive impact on a brand’s standing and reputation in terms of search engine results. Therefore, come up with ways to make customers happy and encourage them to leave positive testimonies about the business.
- Make sure to include state and city name of the local business in the title tags of the website.
- Another general suggestion to increase local ranking is to include the name of the targeted state or city in the title tag of local landing page.
- Make sure to include the keyword related with product or service in the business title. It has been observed that if the main service or product of a business is included the brand name, it will work to its advantage. Doing this will give business an edge over competitors who are lacking in this regard.