23 . 12 . 14

Google Pigeon Update Now Rolled Out to the UK

Google have confirmed the Pigeon update aimed at targeting local rankings has been rolled out across the UK along with Canada and Australia.

Launched in July 2014 for the US English Google Search results, the Google Pigeon algorithm was aimed at bringing more accurate and relevant local search results. At the time, Google stated the update would also see local search be brought closer to traditional organic ranking results.

The rollout in the UK is said to have happened around late last week, any changes which are visible will be seen within the Google Maps search results and Google web search results.

So what impact can we expect from the Pigeon update here in the UK?

  • The main noticeable different will be a change to how the local pack is displayed in the search results, the traditional 7 pack is likely to being reduced to 3 listings for most results or in some cases disappearing altogether.
  • Stronger focus of local businesses within proximity of a search area
  • Another change noticed in US results since the algorithm update is the large amount of major business directories which have started to gain more visibility on page 1 in place of other sites. It Suggests Google are stemming there focus greater on business directories such as which means a listing on these is an essential requirement for 2015. (See below).

Google has remained fairly tight-lipped following the update for US English queries so we expect there could be some surprises on the horizon in the next few weeks, we’ll keep you updated!

Looking this morning (23/12/2014), it seems the updates are still yet to affect all UK local results. The example below for the term ‘Hotels Leeds’ still returns the 7 pack results rather than the expected 3 pack. As with other recent algorithm updates, we’d expect Google to roll this out slowly over the next few weeks rather than as an instant change across all local results.

Pigeon SERPS

Local search results for the term ‘Hotels Leeds’

Here are couple of steps for any local business to minimise any potential impact following the Pigeon update:

  • Ensure all Google My Business listings are update. Most importantly all the information required should be filled out to 100% accuracy and the map pin should be placed on the businesses exact location.
  • The mentions of NAPS (names, addresses and phone numbers) of your business across the web are one of the most important local ranking signals – however accuracy is highly important. Any miss-spellings or alternative business names could have a detrimental effect; information needs to be consistent throughout.
  • Local major business directories are going to be one of the largest ranking factors of 2015. It’s important to claim any existing listings or create new ones where possible.

Have you noticed any changes to your businesses local results? Contact us at twentysix and let us know your thoughts on the update.

(Image Credit: Bengin Ahmad, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

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