Google recently released another update to their search algorithms, this time around the update is not focused on web spam as many previous updates such as Penguin and Panda have been but is focused on Local Search.
Across the web this update has been given the name ‘Pigeon’ which was created by Barry Schwartz of ‘Search Engine Land’ who stated, "Pigeon is the name we decided on because this is a local search update and pigeons tend to fly back home” …whether this will be the official name is yet to be seen but it seems to have stuck within the industry so far.
The update will include some of the search signals used in web search as well as key features such as knowledge graph and spelling correction that they hope will go towards improving search results for relevant queries. The new Pigeon algorithm is also understood to be seeing an improvement to Google location and distance ranking parameters, making local search more accurate overall.
The update could be quite critical for some local businesses with some already being affected. It is well worth any local business to check their local placement ranking on Google regularly over the coming weeks to see if you notice any changes. At present the update is only being utilised in the United States and it is not yet known when it will start to roll out into other countries and languages but don’t be surprised if you start to see changes soon.
With the aim of the Pigeon update to bring local results and standard web ranking signals closer together, it’s likely that sites with good, solid SEO are going to benefit the most.