The Google Pigeon Update was rolled out in the US on July 24th 2014. The Update is designed to increase the ranking of a local listing in a search – to give preference to local search results in the SERPs. This Update is useful for users who are interested in what is in their area and the local businesses. If I search for coffee shops, what I want is information regarding coffee shops in my area – not big chains that aren’t in my area.
Before now, this update had only been rolled out in the US, and both increases and decreases in ranking had been observed there as expected.
Now, however, Google have confirmed that their local Pigeon update has been rolled out across the UK, Canada and Australia over the last week. The change was first noticed by BrightLocal, who noted that they had noticed “significant volatility in Maps results in the UK, Canada & Australia”. According to BrightLocal, “It appears that the maps radius has tightened for local searches – which is a key marker of the Pigeon update”.
The Update, aimed at providing more relevant and useful local search results for users, should now have a similar affect to that seen in the US. In the US the update caused some fluctuations in rankings, obviously, especially if your store has a physical location. The update also got rid of Google’s Yelp problem, so now Google shows Yelp pages at the top of the search results when a query contains the word ‘Yelp’.
It is interesting to note that this is another update released during the holiday shopping season, with Search Engine Land expressing their surprise at this choice. We previously reported on the recent Penguin updates/continuous update and discussed how Search Engine Land, amongst others, have commented on Google breaking it’s unofficial promise not to release Updates during holiday season.
For more information about Google Updates, visit Search Marketing Group today.