Google’s Local SEO Pigeon Update

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 31, 2016

The Google Pigeon update created an entirely new standard for local search engine optimization programs. By combining many of the essential functions of Google under a single umbrella, the leading search engine provided the entire world with a format that all businesses can follow. In order to achieve the best ranking that you can in local search engine results, it is essential that you know the rules of the game.

– Google Maps and Google Web Search

Before the Google Pigeon update, Google Maps and the Google Web search functions were completely separate. There was not a great deal that a local business could do in order to get found in local search results if it had not been picked up by both algorithms. Finding the business was completely contingent on which service an online user decided to use. All of this changed after the update – these two programs are now completely in sync with one another.

This means that you must have a great web search profile and a properly cited Google Maps profile in order to show up correctly in Google. Take the time to your listings in both of these places are correct and consistent with each other. If they are not, it is likely that Google is registering your map profile and your web search profile as to separate businesses. This can cause a great deal of confusion within the search engine as well as for your human visitors. All in all, you will end up losing customers if you do not make sure this is in order as soon as possible.

– Google and Yelp

The Google Pigeon update has linked the search engine to the top review website on the Internet as well. Yelp took exception to the fact that Google disregarded its results some years back. Because Yelp held such an esteemed position in the online community, Google took great pains to ensure that it was included in the Pigeon update.

There are definite advantages to Google linking up with Yelp as well. Using Yelp technology, Google now has the ability to tell the difference between a positive review in a negative review. If you receive a negative review on Yelp, it can and will affect your search engine ranking in a negative way. The exact opposite occurs for a positive review. This means that you must create a good relationship with your customers off-line for your online search engine optimization efforts to work.

– Google and Other Directories

There are many industry-specific directories that provide more precise results than Google can. Google is meant to be a general directory for the entire Internet; however, it partners with many of these smaller directories in order to provide precise results for people who are looking to dig down into a particular industry. This means that you must be sure that your business is included in relevant industry-specific directories. You must also be sure that your citation in those directories matches the citation that you have in Google.

The higher that your profile is in the industry-specific directories, the higher that it will be in Google. If you are in an especially competitive field, one of the best local search engine optimization strategies is to focus on your local directory rather than on Google’s search results. It is much easier to rise to the top in a specialized directory than it is in Google. However, if that directory is recognized as a reputable one, it will spill over into your search engine ranking on Google.