On July 24, Google rolled out its latest search algorithm update. Although the update wasn’t named by the company itself, SearchEnglineLand dubbed the update “pigeon,” while around the world SEO experts began wondering how these new changes affected search engine optimization – and what businesses should do in response.
What do we know about the Google Pigeon update so far? While the search engine giant has not released any details, researchers have already pinned down a few main points:
- Pigeon is designed to give users better local search results. Google claims that all algorithm updates have one central goal: getting users useful, accurate, and high-quality information. In this case, Pigeon was released so that people looking for local businesses and services have an easier time finding what they need.
- Pigeon loves local directories. If you haven’t taken the time to make your business shine on local directories, now is the time to start. Begin by making sure that your business is listed on all relevant directories, from Yelp to your local chamber of commerce. Continue to improve your ranking by encouraging your clients to leave reviews on these websites.
- Pigeon loves social media. If your business isn’t already spending time building its presence on social media and engaging with local clients on websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you should consider it now. If you are engaged in social media marketing, this might be a good time to see how you can improve your strategies.
- Pigeon favors local businesses over local brands. This is good news for small business owners: if you have a local ice cream shop, it may show up in Google local search results before national listings for known brands, such as Ben and Jerry’s or Cold Stone Creamery.
- Pigeon favors businesses on Google+. It might not be fair that Google seems to give an advantage to local businesses that use its other products, but that is the way things seem to be at the moment. Claim your business’ Google+ page, make sure all of the information on the page is accurate, and optimize the page with content and images. If you have your Google+ profile set up correctly, images and information about your business may appear in local search results.
- Many of your old SEO tactics still work! Pigeon has not affected many key areas of SEO. For example, building your website’s authority, collecting high-quality backlinks, and creating great new content are still all really great ways to get new clients and boost your web traffic.
Was your website negatively affected by the Google Pigeon update, or would you like to improve your website’s search engine optimization? Call The Search Ninjas today to talk to an expert and request a free SEO audit: (410) 929-5610.