Google Pigeon – Breaking Down the Algorithm

3 min read by tom 1 Aug 2014

Google Pigeon

StrategiQ Marketing Explores What Pigeon Means for the Search Engine

Google’s July 24th update of local search algorithm has been dubbed the Google Pigeon update and is already making waves in the Search Engine industry. What the update means for businesses and consumers is a subject that is clearly the topic of much conversation, so we’ve identified the main topics emerging from the update.

Local Directories Visibility

Search Engine Land recently reported that Google’s latest update has responded to accusations from Yelp that Google’s search results had been manipulated in favour of Google’s own local listings ahead of Yelp pages even when users specifically included “Yelp” in their searches. The Google Pigeon update sees Yelp listings receive far greater prominence on search results. We conducted our own test with the search term “suffolk restaurants yelp” and whilst some results were a little further afield than we had intended, Yelp did indeed receive the prominence it had so coveted.

Google Pigeon

Search Engine Land also reported that Yelp is not the only search directory to benefit from Google’s Pigeon update with, TripAdvisor, Expedia and Kayak all evidently attaining greater search engine prominence.

Greater Emphasis on Location

Google Pigeon’s updates have seen a noticeable impact on Google Maps, with far greater attention levelled towards the searchers location. Updated searches seem to support results more closely associated with a searcher’s specific location meaning larger chain outlets will likely experience a damaging effect. Smaller, local outlets will, on the other hand, benefit from a rise in prominence, something that from a consumer point of view will yield a more accurate search performance.

Disappearance of “7 Pack”

One thing that has received attention since Google’s Pigeon update is the apparent disappearance of the so-called 7 Pack as seen below.

Google Pigeon

Whilst Google is yet to fully implement it’s updates, Moz reported a 60% decline of this search result type which would suggest that Pigeon has removed this feature of search engines. The implications of such a movement are yet to be truly felt, but with the 7 Pack having consistently proved itself an alluring aspect of Google search results, strategies and approaches to SEO may indeed receive a dramatic disturbance.

If you would like any further information on the Google Pigeon update or would like to discuss how StrategiQ can help with your SEO needs, contact us today.

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