Pigeon Update: Google Updates Local Search Algorithm

After the recent Panda and Penguin updates, Google recently released a new Local Search Algorithm. The main objective of this update is to provide the users more relevant and accurate local search results.

The Update is named as “Pigeon Update” by Search Engine Land since Google have not given any name to it. The changes will be seen on local google web results as well as on Google maps.
This update has currently rolled for the US English results. Google haven’t shared any information on when it will be available more widely for different countries and other language based searches.
Pigeon Update: Google Updates Local Search Algorithm
Extract by Barry Schwartz

The changes have rolled out to both the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results. Google told me that the new local algorithm has “deeper into their web search capabilities, including the hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search along with search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms and more.” It also has better accuracy over distance and location rankings.

YELP Problem Solved!!

This update has overcomed the YELP problem. YELP earlier had accused Google of manipulating the search results by showing Google’s own directory listings instead of showing Yelp listings even if the user searched for YELP listing.
Here is an image showing the results before the pigeon update:
Pigeon Update: Google Updates Local Search Algorithm
Pic from SEL


Results after the Update:
Note: Only US users can experience the change now

More Details

  • Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zagat, Urbanspoon got improvement in their ranking. Most of them are back on page 1
  • Only US English results are affected currently
  • Google said that this new algorithm will improve the distance and location ranking parameters and moreover will aim to provide a more useful and relevant experience for searchers seeking local results, although it will make it more difficult for individual businesses to rank in the search results.

What’s your say??

So, what do you think about this update? Are you penalised by Penguin update?
Do share your views in comments.
Webmasters have also started sharing the changes they witnessed. You can check up in the comments section of Search Engine Land’s post. Discussions are under way now on various forums and social networks regarding the update.
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