“Pigeon” Algorithm Update Released Thursday 7/24/14

July 25th, 2014 by Search Influence University

Pigeon: The New Google Local Search Algorithm Takes Flight

Google “Pigeon” algorithm update pic on Search Engine Land

Yesterday, July 24th, 2014, Google pushed live what Search Engine Land is calling the “Pigeon” update. SEO sources are reporting that this update is specifically affecting the local search algorithm. This update has further intertwined organic and local indicators, algorithms and results, and it has the potential to affect the rankings of many small businesses.

Matt McGee said it best on Search Engine Land: “[Update will] benefit big directory sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor — sites that have stronger SEO signals than small, individual restaurants and hotels are likely to have. For those businesses and websites, local search has just gotten a lot more difficult.”

Small businesses will likely notice an effect on their rankings. Whether the effect is positive or negative is yet to be seen.

Additional Details:

  • Major directories such as Yelp, Zagat, Urbanspoon, TripAdvisor, and others are seeing increased page 1 rankings and influence in the search results
  • The update has only been released to US English results, but the percent of queries impacted has not been reported
  • Google said that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters, and aims to provide a more useful and relevant experience for searchers seeking local results, although it may make it more difficult for individual businesses to rank in the search results

Like so many of Google’s updates, this is a first pass which will certainly have tweaks and updates as it goes along. In every algorithm update it typically takes a few weeks before we understand the full impact.

This update from Google plays into a long-term strategy we’ve practiced at Search Influence: Barnacle SEO. Barnacle SEO has been getting a lot of attention lately because of Google’s love of big sites. What we’ve learned, over the years, is that it’s important to be present in all the places Google, and customers, would look for a business like yours.

Rest assured, like the other updates before it, we’ll assure our clients are well positioned for the future.

For more information check out these articles:

Google “Pigeon” Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signal

Pigeon: Search Engine Land’s Name For The New Google Local Search Update