Oops, they did it again, another Google Algorithm Update.
A little birdie told us the folks at Google are at it again with changes and improvements to their world famous search engine algorithms. This time with updates to the Local Search feature in both Google Search and Google Maps, the update codenamed “Pigeon” by SearchEngineWorld is designed to offer more relevant, effective, and precise search results that can be ranked similarly to the standard search function. This change will affect both Google Maps and Google Web.
While the main improvements to the local algorithm are mainly internal, it is expected to have some kind of effect on the rankings of local Businesses as well as non-local businesses that compete in rankings with local alternatives. This means a potential increase or decrease in referrals, organic traffic, and keyword rankings in sites.
The news of the updated algorithm sprouted wings in the SEO community early this week. Google notified SearchEngineLand, a popular SEO blog, that the new changes to the local search algorithm are closely related to the web search platform making it more similar to the page rankings of the Google web search including “search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms and more.” (SearchEngineLand)
As of now, it seems the algorithm update is only in the U.S. and has yet to expand to other countries. However, the update does seem to be large enough for Google to update the SEO community of the changes. As expected with most major algorithm updates, the Pigeon update is sure to ruffle more than a few feathers.
It is unclear how many sites will be affected by the changes but it is always good to maintain good SEO practices and solid technical foundations to withstand algorithm changes of any kind. Check out our SEO Audit Services if you want to ensure that your website not only has a great SEO foundation, but also supports your overall digital marketing strategy.
Is this new update flying solo? Or is this the beginning of more unseen changes to the Google algorithm? Only time will tell.