In case you have yet to hear the news, Google has rolled out a new and major algorithm update for local search. The update, which is referred to as “Pigeon,” has gained a vast amount of attention since techies have noticed evident changes in local rankings on Google Maps search results and Google Web search results.
Search Engine Land
explains, “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.”
As of today, the new algorithm is out strictly for US English results, with the goal to provide a better experience for Google users looking for local results. So the question now becomes, how does this algorithm update affect your site?
Many local companies will experience a change in their rankings. If you have seen a decrease in your site’s traffic, this could be attributed to the “Pigeon” update altering how industry keywords are appearing in local listing packs. Another key change to be aware of is that local rankings will be heavily determined by domain authority. If your website is lacking authority, a suggestion is to focus on improving your on-page optimization, backlinks, and other SEO rankings factors.
On a positive note, a boost in rankings have been seen for Yelp and other local directories. Several potential clients will be able to find your company from local directory sites. With that being said, it is vital to frequently update and engage with your fans on the top local directories for your niche. Having a large presence on these sites and positive customer reviews will greatly help your business on search results.
While it may be more difficult for potential clients to find your site as industry keywords are disappearing from local listings packs, the local carousel results remain unaffected by the “Pigeon” update. Using Google’s local carousel is an excellent way to gain additional exposure.
Here at iMedia, we are constantly staying up to date on the latest SEO trends to help our clients out-perform their competition on search results. For more information or assistance on how to improve your search rankings, contact iMedia today.