There Google goes again… always keeping us on our toes. On July 24, the search engine made another major algorithm update. This update appears to be affecting local search results in particular.
The update was affectionately dubbed “Pigeon” by Search Engine Land, one of the leading SEO resources, because “this is a local search update and pigeons tend to fly back home.”
According to Search Engine Watch, “the update was for U.S. English queries and had deeper ties into its Web search capabilities… this would make local search more closely mimic traditional organic search ranking.” In addition, the update was designed to provide better location proximity in its local search results, providing a more targeted user experience.
Many Web site owners are reporting a change of ranking in the local search setting (much of it described as a loss in ranking or appearance in local searches) and there appears to be a significant reduction in the number of 7-packs showing for local search results, therefore limiting local search business listing opportunities. A pack refers to the number of local listings that appear on the search results page for a particular search. The news is not all bad, however, many sites are reporting no change in traffic and some are even reporting an increase in traffic, and in particular traffic that is more targeted to proximity of their location.
Have you seen any changes to your site traffic? It may be time to review your Web site analytics data and traffic statistics and see how “Pigeon” may have affected your site.