Google’s Pigeon algorithm boosts local business rankings

While you might be thinking annoying, winged rats of the sky, we don’t think that’s quite what Google meant when it released its new “Pigeon” algorithm earlier this week. The new algorithm is aimed at pairing local search results with Google Maps results to its improve local organic search.

At iFactory we love to keep you updated on the latest in search engine optimisation, so here’s what you need to know about how this new Pigeon update will affect your rankings.

What are the changes?

In a nutshell, Google’s update aims to provide more relevant and accurate local search results. While the core changes are behind the scenes, the result should see local businesses increase or decrease in organic search engine rankings depending on their ties to local directories.

They’ve tried to improve distance and location ranking parameters, as well as tying local search results more closely to the regular web search ranking signals. In other words what you might see is more interaction between Google Maps and regular search to achieve more relevant results for users.

Will your business be affected?

At the moment, the Pigeon algorithm only affects US English results, so unless your website targets the US market you probably won’t see any changes.  However, if the roll out is received positively, it might be a sign of things to come for Australia, meaning that businesses may be quickly outranked unless they adopt strong SEO signals, including good content, good backlinks and good integration with social networks.

How to improve your Google ranking?

The new algorithm means that local directory sites have better visibility, which can push links to individual local businesses to page two. But it all depends on the type of search, so it makes sense to do your homework. The basics of search engine optimisation still apply though, like:

  • Including keywords in the URL
  • Including fresh and original content
  • Encouraging interaction through social media
  • Use of back linking and interlinking.

Web Design Brisbane

Even though you’re probably still picturing plagues of pooping pigeons, we think that Google probably meant to conjure images of the homing pigeon, navigating the complex web landscape and bringing messages back home. If you want to take your business to the next level and improve your brand’s visibility and market access through search engine optimisation, contact iFactory today to map your digital marketing strategy.

Read more insights