On July 24th, Google released an update to their local search algorithm. They didn’t name the update, but Search Engine Land has dubbed the update “Pigeon”. The update affects local search results, specifically for Google Maps and Google Search. There have been improvements behind-the-scenes on distance and location ranking algorithms. Google is pushing their search and traditional SEO signals together. The update reduces the duplication in organic and local results.
As early as a day after the update, there have been changes detected in the local search results. The local listings have been reduced from a 7 pack (or 7 listings) to a 3 pack, in a majority of the searches. The carousel results do not seem to be affected by the update. Directories such as Yelp and Yellowpages.com have seen an increase in their rankings on Google. Businesses that are not listed in these directories will have to work even harder with their SEO practices to make sure that they will rank on the first page of results and appear on Google Maps.
Linkmedia 360 is currently monitoring our client’s local listings programs via Google local search. We have seen an increase in our search results for our clients with optimized location pages and local listings. However it is important to continually monitor the changes because Google makes updates to their algorithms. We have created a POV on the Google Pigeon Update that shares more information about the changes to local listings.