What is the pigeon update and how does it affect the field of SEO?

  • Posted by: Admin
  • 16/05/2022

Google pigeon update that was recently launched affected dramatically on local search results seen in Google maps. Learn here everything about the pigeon update

In many cases when we search for something on Google, Google first checks where we are physically and adjusts the results page to our location. This usually makes sense: if someone in New York types in Google's search box the word "plumber he probably prefers sites for plumbers located in New York or surrounding areas rather than plumbers from Chicago. In other cases, Google decides for us that the geographical location is very significant – if, for example, I am looking for a "recommended dentist" results relating to New York dentists will be given priority even though for the sake of a quality dentist (and especially delicate…) I am willing to travel many miles...

The person responsible for ensuring that the proximity of the physical location of the surfers to the location of the business behind the site will have a significant effect on its ranking in the search results is "Pigeon Update" - a change in Google's algorithm designed to ensure more accurate results when performing local search. ("Location Based Search").

Naturally, the update also affects the results page for another type of local search, the one where the query includes a geographical location - for example, "Mobile repair in Houston TX", "Restaurant in Miami FL etc. - regardless of where the surfer is at the moment (information accessible to Google in most cases, both when the search is performed on a smartphone and when it is performed on a stationary computer).

The announcement of the pigeon update - the name, by the way, was chosen by the people of the leading online magazine "Search Engine Land", probably inspired by the names of previous notable updates of the algorithm, Panda, and Penguin - occurred in the summer of 2014. It first came into effect in the US and then gradually throughout the world, too, has a significant impact on search results in Israel - and accordingly on the field of website promotion.

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"We are on the map"

To do this we need to sign up and create a Google business profile (formerly called "Google for My Business" and "Google Places") and let Google know where our business is physically, what the opening hours are, what the phone number is and any other information that may help potential customers easily find the fastest and most convenient route to us. Registration to "Google Business Profile" is free and involves verification with Google (in most cases via a postcard sent to the address you provide). For businesses nationwide there is an option to create separate information cards for each of the branches at once.

Website optimization

Another essential step for a business that wants to appear high in the position-based search results is optimizing the site for the geographic keywords.

In the first stage, you can simply add to the existing content a reference to the physical location of your business: if we take the example of a cell phone repair lab in Jersey City NJ" , the various pages on such a site probably include phrases like "cell phone repair", "smartphone service", "cell phone lab" etc. '- Adding the pair of words "Jersey City" and names of nearby cities, will improve the site's position in the search results conducted in this area. It is important to be careful not to add too many words the words that indicate the geographical location and certainly not to add phrases without a real context - both surfers and Google do not like it.

It is also advisable to display at the bottom of each page on the site (Potter) the full physical address of the business.

In the second stage, it is important to thicken the site, in order to prove to Google that our business is indeed relevant to all the places for which it is important for us to appear in the top of local search results. For example: For a real estate agent whose office is in Los Angeles and he wants to attract clients from all over distant locations in California, it is recommended to create pages on the site for the main cities in the area with relevant keywords - real estate in Thousand Oaks, Orange County and more...

Local mobile searches

The pigeon update was created to provide those who perform a local search with particularly suitable results, but of course even business owners to whom customers come physically can benefit from the change in the algorithm.

The pigeon update was created to provide those who perform a local search with particularly suitable results, but of course even business owners to whom customers come physically can benefit from the change in the algorithm.