Google updates are subject to diverse opinions. The same applies to the name sake of one of Google’s recent updates: the Pigeon. So let’s look and see where you fall on the opinion poll, and more importantly how it could end up helping or potentially harming your website’s ranking on Google.
Pigeon follows the direction of previous Google updates in that location is of growing importance. Pigeon’s algorithm gives more weight to true location. Example: if you have a page with good search results for a larger neighboring city, you will see your standing drop in favor of businesses that are actually located there. Inversely if you were ranked under someone for years that wasn’t truly in your area you will see a nice boost in your placement now that the impostor is gone.
This does raise a question for nation wide and international businesses that wish to get good results nation wide and not just near their head office. The current testing hasn’t given any definitive results on if it is better to hide your address to avoid Pigeon, but history has taught us that trying to fool Google is not an easy or smart practice.
Instead the smart money is going with doubling down on what we know. We know that with Pigeon, Google places and pins are more important than ever and large nationwide companies will probably do better by just making sure every branch office has a Google map pin and their address is clearly stated on their site in order to make the new bird happy.
Here’s how you can update your site to ensure you’ll still rank well after the update:
- Optimize your business with local services that display when you search locally for your business. Sites like Yelp and BBB. Make sure your information is correct on each. Reviews will also help with better placement.
- If you haven’t already, verify your business via Google My Business and drop a map pin.
- If you have local offices make sure each has its own site with unique content.
- Each Local office page needs to have location pages with its address and contact information. Avoid duplicate information across these pages to insure they rank well.
The Pigeon algorithm is Google’s new way of helping out local businesses that have been struggling in the past to be seen above the shouting SEO of others. I for one welcome our new feathered friend into the SEO family.