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Pigeon Update Or Rollback Happening Now?

 10:21 am on Jul 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

Wondering if anyone sees any type of rollback or update going on with respect to Pigeon. Can't tell if this is a caching issue or just part of the entire update continuing to roll out, resulting in some inconsistencies.



 2:54 pm on Jul 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm not too sure. Yesterday was weird for me with one site having a spectacular high and another an unbelievable low. One of my niche UK sites has been getting much higher than average traffic Tuesday/Wednesday/today.

Rankings look about the same therefore I'm flummoxed at the moment.


 4:53 am on Aug 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

This update is for local listing so the local search results affected from this update so you can see increase or decrease in your traffic.

Robert Charlton

 5:50 am on Aug 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

Because this update is for local listings, our active thread on the topic is in our Local Search forum. Discussion here....

Google "Pigeon" Updates Local Search Algorithm
http://www.webmasterworld.com/local_search/4690773.htm [webmasterworld.com]


 3:25 pm on Aug 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yes the algo is in major flux.

I've been sharing daily screenshots of the rankings for Seattle Chiropractor and every day it radically changes.

Others are reporting 7 packs one day, 3 packs the next and then no pack at all.

FYI Redbar - Pigeon has only rolled out to US, so if you are seeing changes, it's not that.

Linda Buquet


 8:54 pm on Aug 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

There was no Pigeon update. Our local sites see no change. Millions of "local only" URLs, different topics and industries see no change in traffic. Main traffic source for local is still Bing and Yahoo.

Robert Charlton

 9:51 pm on Aug 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

SEOPTI - I believe Pigeon was US only.


 12:16 am on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

There was no Pigeon update. Our local sites see no change.

How do you get from point A to point B?


 12:19 am on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Robert, sorry I forgot to mention our local sites are US based and we still see no change.

From point A to point B. Simple, it is the large local dataset which is indexed. There was no update.

Thanks God we have Bing.


 3:40 am on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

I currently have access to the stats of a dozen ecom sites, all based in Europe, and not one seems to have been affected.

Perhaps the Google animal that is coming for them will be called "Porcupine"? or peacock, panther, pelican, pig, pike, platypus, piranha, poodle, prawn, possum, puffin, puma etc... I'm starting to think Google picked the letter "P" because they plan a lot of updates!


 1:09 pm on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Ever since Panda 4.0 several of my sites have been getting more traffic to the extent that a .co.uk and a .in have both doubled their PVs with both of them last week having their busiest ever weeks.

This I find unusual since at this time of the year in the construction industry one normally sees a summer levelling or even a downturn in traffic. My main .eu saw a definite downturn last week and my .com experienced a levelling but still +37.5% since Panda 4.0


 10:14 pm on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

"Robert, sorry I forgot to mention our local sites are US based and we still see no change."

I'm sure there are cases where individual rankings did not change. But I'm tracking entire packs to watch how the SERPS are changing and I can tell you there was a MAJOR update in local. Like any update there are winners and losers and some may stay the same.

But this update is dredging up all kinds of spam listings and even putting listings in the A spot that are out of business, phone disconnected, no site or a parking page.

It's rewarding listings with top rankings that are filled with Google Local violations.

Those bad results are pushing many other honest businesses down and out of the pack.

I just posted a bunch of screenshots this AM and showed the the before and after ranking results as well as a bunch of really spammy or defunct businesses that are ranking on top.

Shared the post with Google Local management too. That is not the division that's in control of this algo update, but they will pass it on to those in control.

But again, this algo is still in major flux so hopefully they are trying to correct it.


Robert Charlton

 7:52 am on Aug 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Linda, thanks for your observations. It's difficult to decide how to divide this discussion up between our organic forum and our Local forum, because the update (as I see it, anyway) is a melding of multiple aspects of local, organic, and mobile considerations.

I'm assuming that one of the many decisions that Google needs to make for a given search, eg, is whether GPS or IP-based location results should control what kind of results are shown. So while a pizza search is going to have different priorities than, say, a search for an attorney... it's not clear, though, that a smartphone search should always have different priorities than desktop. I've been in conference rooms where some in the room are searching from smartphones and some from plugged-in laptops.

But shopping searches are much more likely to have highly localized GPS results, say, from a smart phone. Searches for lawyers, hotels, or real estate from a phone might have very different localization concerns.

One of the things I've noticed in this update (which unfortunately I haven't been able to follow very closely) is that, on desktop search, the search tools Location selector in main Google search page is often replaced by the map in the upper right of the serps page... and that the initial map is usually much broader than the selected location would suggest it should be.

I see the various factors... business type, map, named-location-in-query, IP-location, GPS-location, Google+ page, along with organic factors, all functioning like gears that need to mesh... but because of the different data sets, among other things, they're clearly not meshing yet.

For some local searches, all appears to be normal. I'm thinking it's possible that Google might be intentionally doing what it did with the early pack results, and use different displays and different cities as test beds, so their may well be no consistency yet on purpose.

It also strikes me some large cities, like Los Angeles, present very different challenges than do small towns, metro-areas, or rural communities.

Again, the discussion that most probably will (or should) talk about the traditional local factors is here, in our Local Forum...

Google "Pigeon" Updates Local Search Algorithm
http://www.webmasterworld.com/local_search/4690773.htm [webmasterworld.com]


 10:11 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Great observations Robert.

Everything you mentioned helps to account for why this update is delivering such dynamic, changing and unpredictable results - that makes it seem like it just does not make sense at all.

Robert said: "It's difficult to decide how to divide this discussion up between our organic forum and our Local forum, because the update (as I see it, anyway) is a melding of multiple aspects of local, organic, and mobile considerations."

You hit part of the nail on the head!

One of the reasons this update is so frustrating for those of us on the local side of the house is that it's too often, as I've illustrated, serving up local spam, fake listings, out of business companies with disconnected phone numbers and expired parked domains. Many have local violations too.

These results hurt the honest businesses that are trying to play by the rules and don't help the Google user searching for the service either.

But I think the problem is in part that this algo is controlled by a different department. The Google Local management team that I work with does not have any control over it.

It's the organic search or search quality side of the house I believe that's running the show. And the organic side has programmed in whatever organic factors they think are important which is fine, BUT the algo does not take into account all the Google Local guidelines, violations and other issues - like whether it's out of business with disconnected # or a totally fake listing.

So to some degree I think it's kind of a right/left hand thing.

Google's goals are right. They want the same thing most of us want which is good solid search results. But the algo maybe is not trained on all the spam, scams and violations that are so prevalent on the local side of the fence. So there is just a disconnect.

But as I track and share all the SERP movement on my Seattle Chiropractor ranking analysis, I can sort of begin to see a pattern emerging where hopefully the algo is learning to correct itself.

Between my screenshot at 9 this am and the one 5 hours later, there was already a radical shift and improvement. So either Googlers (who do read my forum all the time) manually made a correction OR the aglo is being training and is getting better at weeding out incorrect listings that should not be rewarded with top placement.

So anyway, I'm hopeful this update will stabilize into something that delivers better results soon.



 4:00 pm on Aug 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

For anyone that wants to learn more about what we know and DON'T yet know about this update...

Mike Blumenthal just did a Hangout on Stone Temple's 'Digital Marketing Excellence Show' Thursday. And "Professor Maps" shares the latest info about this update.

On YouTube: "Unmasking the Pigeon Update: Understanding and Dealing With the Impact"

Note to mods: I'm not affiliated with Mike or Stone Temple and wasn't on the broadcast or anything. I'm just sort of a Google Local evangelist, sharing news that may help folks who have been affected. And found this to be an info packed Hangout.


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