Google Pigeon Update is a new and major algo update for local search, recently launched by Google. It is a basic change to the local search ranking algorithm and is not designed for web spam. The update aims at providing a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results. It is not a penalty-based update like Penguin and Panda updates that aimed at cleaning the SERPs from low-quality content. As talked before it’s basically a core change to the local search ranking algorithm.
Here in this article we are going to talk about how this update affects your website and how to adapt your SEO strategy for the changes now.
Things you should know about the pigeon update and how to act upon them!
Local listing packs disappear for a huge number of keywords
“Number of queries that now include a local listing pack on the SERPs has decreased drastically after the update. Believe it or not but a recent report revealed that this number falls from 12.1% of queries on July 23rd to only 3.3% on July 27th.”
There me a reason that the disappearance of certain of your local listings has made your website to encounter a traffic drop over the past few days. If so, you might need to cover the traffic losses with a PPC campaign in short run however in the long run you will need to focus on getting Web search listings for those keywords.
Local rankings are expected to depend more on website authority
“The traditional Web search ranking signals have taken the lead after this update as they would be determining your local ranking on SERP to a great extent. So, now the domain authority, backlinks and all kinds of other SEO rankings factors will account for your website’s local ranking on SERP.”
There may be a reason that your site’s general SEO characteristics lack behind those of your competition making your local rankings to drop suddenly over the past few days. To figure it out whether your backlinks, content and other SEO characteristics stand to those of other high ranking websites or not run a thorough competition research.
Ranking boost is seen more for local directories
“It has been found that local directory sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc have seen a great boost in their ranking in last few days. In fact, if you notice, you’ll find that for some of the queries the entire SERP is built from well-known local directories only.”
You always have an option to build a solid business presence on leading local directories in your industry so that no matter whether your site ranks well or not your potential clients can anyway find it via local directory sites. But that doesn’t mean you should stop working towards your website ranking as this is just a temporary cure for the concern or say is just an alternative. That’s it!
1. Find the most influential local directories in your niche i.e. make out which directories are currently ranking high for your targeted keywords after the update.
2. Make sure your business is listed in each of these directories.
3. Track how rankings change for your different listings.
Local carousel remains a way to gain extra exposure
“Since, local carousel results remain unaffected by the update and show up with almost the same frequency as before, you can gain extra exposure for some local keywords through them.”
How to go
Carousel results highlight your listing’s image and rating, showing all options side-by-side. Hence, putting a nice, high-quality and attractive photo in your Google+ business profile will help you encourage your customers to review your business.
Some useful tips on improving local rankings after the pigeon update
Remember, there is of course a considerable amount of change in SERPs, still if you mull it over once, you’ll certainly realize that the basic principles of local SEO are more or less the same and are expected to remain so. Based on this fact, here are a few tips to help your local business get better Google exposure.
• Create a Google+ Local page for your local business
Important: Don’t forget to verify your ownership of the listing for which you need to enter the pin number that you will receive in a postcard/letter from Google.
• Select the right category for your Google+ Local page
Important: A wrong selection of category will never let your business to appear for your important search terms.
• Ensure to use a local area code on your Google+ Local page
Important: The area code of the phone number that you would be using as the primary phone number on Google+ Local page to do so should match the area code/codes traditionally associated with your city of location.
• Ensure NAP on your website matches NAP on your Google+ Local page
Important: Google looks at the website you have linked to from your Google Places/Google+ Local page and cross references the name, address and phone number of your business. Any discrepancy in that may hamper your local ranking.
• Ensure a consistent NAP in all your business listings
Important: Inconsistent details such as different business names, addresses or phone numbers on different directory sites may put your ranking to nowhere.
• Get more positive customer reviews on Google+ Local page and on third-party sources
Important: Positive reviews have proved to have a great influence on local search rankings.
• Include your city or state into your website’s title tags
Important: The city or state you’re targeting included into your website’s Title tag will make your “local” landing page more productive.
• Include product/service keyword in business title
Important: Including core product /service keyword in business titles makes your more recognizable.
“You must be aware with the power of SoLoMo i.e social, local and mobile in this digital era when it comes to idea of conducting an effective marketing. So, you cannot ignore your local ranking as your local customers happen to be the first priority and the first step towards building an ever paying and a robust business. “
Hopefully, we are successful in helping you make your local SEO strategy more result-centric and ever productive.
Anyway, have you noticed any changes in local rankings? If so, do let us know if the remedies and tips we discussed helped you overcome the consequences. Also, share your thoughts on the update in the comments below!