Google “Pigeon” Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signal

Barry Schwartz on
  • Categories: Channel: SEO, Features: Analysis, Google: Maps & Local, Google: Pigeon Update, Google: SEO, Google: Web Search
  • Google has released a new algorithm to provide a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. The changes will be visible within the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results.

    Note: We’ve named this update the Pigeon update.

    The core changes are behind the scenes, but it does impact local search results rankings and some local businesses may notice an increase or decrease in web site referrals, leads and business from the change.

    Google told us that the new local search algorithm ties deeper into their web search capabilities, including the hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search along with search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms and more.

    In addition, Google said that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters.

    The new algorithm is currently rolling out for US English results and aims to provide a more useful and relevant experience for searchers seeking local results. Google didn’t share any details about if and when the update would roll out more widely in other countries and languages.

    Google has not commented on the percent of queries impacted by this algorithm update, nor if certain web spam algorithms were deployed in this update.

    If you have noticed any ranking changes and referral changes for your local business, please let us know in the comments.

    Image credit to ShutterStock


    About The Author

    Barry Schwartz
    Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on social media at @rustybrick, +BarrySchwartz and Facebook. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio and disclosures, click over here.