There’s a new Google update, and of course that means talk is flying around SEO circles like pigeons in the park. In fact, Search Engine Land has decided this update should be called “Pigeon” because it is affecting local searches and pigeons tend to stay local.
Eric Sornoso of Search Engine Journal decided to put together all he could find about it in his post, “New Google Search Algorithm Update Targets Local Search Queries” and gives this advice:
“Before Pigeon, there was a strong chance that searching for pizza restaurants in Boise will return listings for major brands such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut towards the top of the SERP. In the post-Pigeon era, search results that are authoritatively local will be more prominently featured on the SERP, and they will be enhanced with relevant content. Pizza restaurants in Boise that have a verified presence on Google’s own social network, Google Plus (G+), will benefit from having their menus, reviews, and photographs shown on the SERP. To this end, local business owners will definitely want to ensure that they are doing their share of content marketing and social media engagement on G+.”
Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and…Pigeon?
Nobody knows yet what Google will call this new update. But Pigeon may end up being what it’s known by since it does seem to fit the trend. The thing to be aware of is the same old advice: if you try to game the system, the next update will probably be aimed at you. The problem is that a whole lot of others are affected when they aren’t even attempting to game the system; all they want is to get their business in a good spot when someone looks for what they offer.
Search Engine Optimization has to keep the human searcher in mind, and along with that it has to work within the algorithms of the search engines. Every search engine is trying to make itself an essential tool for a human searcher by providing the correct information quickly. At the same time, search engines have challenges that are overwhelming for human minds. Every update that comes along is aimed at one of those challenges, and it looks like the latest Google update is aimed at the challenge of presenting truly local search results.