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What is the Pigeon Update?

on August 22, 2014

Google has once again updated its search engine with the “Pigeon Update.”  The new update puts a focus on improving local searches. Whether the changes will be good or bad for business has yet to be seen.

Google has revealed that the update has improved distance and location parameters for search. The results will also take into account features such as spelling correction and synonyms. Unfortunately, Google has given out little information about what other aspects will be affected.

According to several accounts, the update has removed spam-like websites from local results. Some companies are seeing fluctuating results in search, with the top “seven pack” of local searches displaying inconsistently. There was also a mistake made in New York’s local listings, where Expedia was listed as a hotel service in the Google carousel.

Google is working to prevent similar mistakes by tweaking its algorithms. The Pigeon update is the first update in several years to affect results at the local level. What this means is that optimizing for local searches will be even more important than before in SEO efforts.

It is still too early to say how marketers should prepare for the changes, but there are a few things that can be done to lessen the impact. To let Google know that a site is local, businesses should register with Google Places for Business. Google Places will almost certainly be taken into account in this update. Another option is to wait and watch for changes. Any early signs of change may be indications that the update is at work.

Hopefully, Google’s update will improve local search by reducing local spam and bringing companies customers from a wide range of local locations. The update is still in the beginning stages. More changes should be expected in the next few weeks as Google improves the new algorithm.

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