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Google Pigeon – A Small Bird Making a Big Impact Online

Google Pigeon algorithm  may be a boon to local small businesses

Google Algorthim, seo, online, marketingIf your local business relies on Google traffic for prospects and customers, there’s a good chance that Google Pigeon will be impacting your website in some way this year. Launched July 2014, Google Pigeon is an update to Google’s search engine and impacts local search results.   You may have already noticed a drop in traffic from Google search, or perhaps you have seen an increase, in which case congratulations.

Not long after the update was released last year, analysis from BrightEdge reported some industries receiving growth of up to 28% in results. Among those industries were hospitality, food, and education. Some losers included websites promoting jobs and careers and real estate. Both industries lost over 60% of their traffic.

Local Search now comprises a significant percentage of Google searches. As many as 4 in 5 Google users regularly search for local information and the influx of faster mobile devices searching the internet has led to a sharp increase in the number of local searches. Pigeon’s purpose is to improve the relevancy of local results, promoting the websites that are best optimized for their local area.

How Pigeon is impacting search results?

Hyper-localization – The radius for local results has been drastically reduced. You can now expect to see results “hyper localized” to within suburbs & neighborhoods.

Preference towards local directories – Since Pigeon set flight last year we have increasingly seen local directories appear in the top 10 search results. This development refects the fact that sites like Yelp, Urban Spoon & Trip Advisor provide good, valuable information to local searchers.

Promoting local brands – In all regions of Google search, brands are at the top of most search results. This is good news for businesses that have a good social presence, create locally relevant content and engage with other local entities.

What you need to do to make Pigeon work for you

Without much effort you could receive significant improvements to your local search ranking. Focus on:

  • Quality locally focused content. Create content and articles with a clear local focus.
  • Easily visible contact information, across your website and local directories such as Google Places and Yelp. Make sure you keep this information up to date, consistent and accurate.
  • Avoid aggressively listing zip codes that your business operates in.
  • Don’t neglect local directories. If there are local directories relating to your niche, make sure your information is accurate and up to date. Many directories will create a page for your business. See if you have a page. If you do, claim it. If not, create one. Most directories allow you to add, edit and update information for free.
  • Responsive websites design. A mobile friendly website is becoming increasingly important for SEO. Plus, most mobile searchers, and there are tons of them, will ignore your website and your business if they can’t easily view it or navigate it on a mobile device
  • Businesses that engage with local entities – Press releases or articles on local news websites. Build a local following and fans on social media. Linking with local trustworthy sites will pay big dividends.

Remember that although directories can be favored for their high quality local relevance, don’t ignore your own website. Instead try to focus on providing a valuable experience throughout. To remain competitive in the local SERPS, implement the above techniques and you will be rewarded with increased rankings this year.

Google Pigeon -  A Small Bird Making a Big Impact Online
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Google Pigeon - A Small Bird Making a Big Impact Online
For local small businesses Google Pigeon algorithm update should deliver more leads and customers. Here are best practices to get your website noticed.

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