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What Is Pigeon And What Did It Change In Google?


A few weeks ago, a new algorithm update codenamed Pigeon was released across the web.  Similar to other animal-named algorithm changes like Penguin, Panda, or Hummingbird the Pigeon update made waves that will change how businesses compete for viewership on the web – especially through local rankings and SEO.

What Is Pigeon

Unlike Panda or Penguin, which punished low quality sites and rewarded high quality sites or Hummingbird that matched the context of search terms with content posted on websites, Pigeon affects rankings in a new way.  With Pigeon users are directed towards accurate local listings in SERPs that are displayed based on traditional search rankings and web signals.

Why Was Pigeon Introduced

Google has refused to provide any details about why they released Pigeon or what other long term changes to the algorithm will come out of the update.  But Google introduces hundreds of changes to algorithms and search engine rankings every year.  Some changes are larger and some changes are smaller, but they are meant to provide users more satisfying SERPs.

However, there may be one reason why Pigeon affected the algorithm in such a profound way.  Yelp and other local directories have complained to Google for years that the search engine’s own listings were ranked ahead of Yelp or other major directories.  This came to be known as “the Yelp problem.”

Since Pigeon came down, the changes to the algorithm improved rankings for Yelp and other directories.  Now when users search for information about local businesses, directories like Yelp will appear at or near the top of SERPs, which host detailed business pages for specific businesses.

What This Means

Pigeon is placing an important emphasis on networking to improve rankings.  Directories like Yelp will play a greater role in how sites receive traffic as the directories will point to business pages registered on their domains.  For local search terms or information about local businesses in a specific product category, this assistance from the directories will help local sites reach and sustain an appropriate audience.

If your business does not have a local business page on one of these directories, consider creating one.  Once these pages are created, encourage customers to leave reviews and feedback on your business page to improve your reputation and association with a valuable local search term.  You can also link to these business pages in any company newsletters as well as directly on your website to make it easy for users to leave reviews.

Keep Up With SEO

Though local directories are more important now than ever thanks to Pigeon, always maintain your own website to satisfy Google.  Use your SEO strategy to monitor traffic, improve rankings, and target keywords that are important to your site’s wellbeing.  Also remember to add fresh, trending content that adds value to customers as they visit your site.

By following traditional search engine and SEO guidelines as well as the new rules under Pigeon, you should safely adjust to the new algorithm and allow your business to continue flourishing online.

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