When you think of pigeons, the raggedy, annoying flocks of greedy city birds probably come to your mind. This doesn’t need to be the case, however, because, in the world of websites, the pigeon has a whole new meaning.
In July of 2014, Google launched its new search ranking algorithm called — you guessed it — Pigeon. Supposedly, the Pigeon update serves the purpose of making the local algorithm and core algorithms more closely tied. Knowing about this algorithm provides website owners with crucial knowledge on how to boost their rankings in a Google search. In other words, pigeons have become your best friend.
Pigeon isn’t just a simple Google search engine update, either. It affects Google Maps searches as well, providing better cohesion between the two searches. If you search for one thing in a standard Google search, then search for it in Google Maps, you used to get some very different results. This can make it harder for people to find your San Antonio business. With Pigeon, these results should be similar.
Yelp & other directories
While Yelp has no affiliation with Google, there was some drama back in the middle of 2014 when the company accused Google of putting its own reviews over Yelp’s. This would happen even if a user specifically searched for a Yelp reviews. This has been remedied with Pigeon, so such complaints will no longer be a problem.
Other companies are positively affected by the Pigeon algorithm, as well. Urbanspoon, TripAdvisor, as well as other websites, are now more visible than ever on Google searches, thanks to the Pigeon update. This is because the algorithm adds extra weight to these types of websites and directories. Now when a person simply searches for “restaurants in San Antonio,” one of these big directory sites will probably pop up in the results. This means your local citations are more important than ever. Making sure you have a consistent NAP information across all these local business directories can be crucial to ranking in the search engines.
Pigeon is bigger than ever
Despite its name, the newly released Pigeon algorithm is by far the largest update that Google has ever launched (when it comes to their local search engine). This means it is more important than any previous update for you, as a website owner, to fully understand and appreciate.
Pigeon’s effect on other businesses
The Pigeon algorithm can be cold and calculated, and sometimes even merciless — depending on what your business is. Many business saw a dramatic change in their Google rankings after the release of the Pigeon algorithm — some saw their Google listings disappear altogether. On the other hand, other businesses saw a positive change in their Google rankings, making things even better for them. This, of course, led to a significant number of complaints, but the fact remains – website owners and businesses simply need to adapt to the new Pigeon.
That being said, there was a strange trend of some very specific business types being negatively impacted by the Pigeon release. These companies were in mold removal, the real estate industry, emergency plumbers, and anything with the word “commercial” coming before it, such as commercial remodeling.
It’s hard to say whether Pigeon is a good thing or a bad thing, but it certainly creates some changes for people running websites. The best thing you can do is keep up-to-date with your site’s Google rankings and adjust accordingly.