On July 24th, Google dropped their latest algorithm update, Pigeon. As with all of Google’s updates, sometimes the changes are relatively minor and sometimes they are pretty dramatic. Pigeon is certainly on the more dramatic side with significant changes being made within both local & core algorithms.
So what does this mean to your website and its rankings?
First let's take a look at what Pigeon is. Then we'll dive into what it may mean to your online presence.
What is Pigeon?
Google's latest algorithm update was affectionately named "Pigeon" by Search Engine Land, as this update was not named by the search giant itself this time around (unlike Panda, Penguin, etc). According to Google & Search Engine Land, this particular algorithm increases the significance of local SEO and how it ties into many of Google’s core algorithms. Online searches will now incorporate more local results as Google’s parameters for distance and locations rankings have improved. At the end of the day, Pigeon is designed to produce more relevant results for those seeking things local to them.
Tip: You can always find an up to date list of algorithm changes on the MOZ website.
What Does Pigeon Mean to Your SEO Efforts?
Pigeon is predicted to impact local businesses most. It’s highly likely they’ll see dynamic shifts in their online referrals and leads…for better or worse. Be sure to check in on your Google Analytics account, SEO software or perhaps any marketing software you might be using to see where your rankings currently stand.
Are they up? Sweet!
Are they down? You'll need to look at which keywords are affected along with their corresponding pages to search for possible sources of poor SEO practices.
What Should You Do?
As always, when it comes to SEO, just keep it clean and don’t overcomplicate things. We always recommend keeping accurate information online regarding your location(s) and contact information. Be sure your company’s info is homogenous across the board, whether you’re on Yelp, FourSquare or any other site. This also means your on-page SEO should logically align with the appropriate keywords/pages, abiding by best practices.
For example, if you’re a camera sales shop in Toronto, you’ll want to make sure your use of the “camera sales toronto” keyword is incorporated with the home page, contact page OR other relevant page…not your Nikon D70 technical specs page. Also ensure it's not used more than once throughout your site to avoid duplicate content penalties (try Siteliner to get started).