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Google "Pigeon" Updates Local Search Algorithm
Robert Charlton




msg:4690775
 7:56 am on Jul 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Land has announced a new Google Maps/Google+ update based on details he received from Google....

Google "Pigeon" Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signal
Jul 24, 2014 - by Barry Schwartz
[searchengineland.com...]

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....

...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.

Search Engine Land named this update the "Pigeon" update, perhaps in honor of Google's PigeonRank [webmasterworld.com...]

See also...
[google.com...]

From what I've heard so far, this is a significant update with major changes in Google's Local results.

 

Wilburforce




msg:4691171
 6:38 am on Jul 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

The new algorithm is currently rolling out for US English results


I don't see any evidence that it has reached the UK yet. Is anyone who has noticed the effect able to describe the results?

GreyBeard123




msg:4691194
 9:15 am on Jul 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google might call it an update but it sure as heck looks more like testing..

In a few niches the "7 pack" disappeared, in other niches it is still available. In one niche it became a 4 pack just to disappear 24 hours later.

mrengine




msg:4691268
 2:31 pm on Jul 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

In a few niches the "7 pack" disappeared, in other niches it is still available.

I see evidence of this as well for our business. Searching for "city" "manufactured product" and "city" "service" has no local listings for us.

TBH it looks like another lame attempt to squeeze the lil guy by reducing their traffic or at least that's how I perceive its impact on our business. By removing the local listings, Google has made more room available for thin made for adsense spammers. Yeee Hawww

Catalyst




msg:4691272
 3:18 pm on Jul 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yes I've been doing a lot of analysis and so has Mike Blumenthal.

I record entire packs, not just a single listing like most would who are rank checking clients. So I can track the entire pack and how things shift.

This update is all over the place. Just made a bunch of observations at Mike's recent post about how the Moz analysis was off.

That's because lots of back end stuff has changed. For instance changing search location didn't matter before now it does. If you don't set search location to query location results will be way off.

Plus the algo is still in major flux. So either has not settled in or they are still testing.

I've been sharing screenshots and doing analysis for "Seattle Chiropractor" - before the update and then every day after. Results change by the day.

BUT FYI a listing that's spammy and has Google+ Local violations was awarded the A spot in this new algo. The pack keeps shifting every day - but the spammy one stays on top.

Seeing spammy listings on top in some of the markets I track which makes me wonder... Sure hope this update ends up being good for honest businesses that are playing by the rules.

@Wilburforce US only at this time.

LifeinAsia




msg:4692108
 7:02 pm on Jul 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

Wow, might as well call it the Yelp update instead of Pigeon! Every local search I tried had Yelp at the top (and most of the time, Yelp had more than 2 positions at the top), before the 7-pack.

Catalyst




msg:4692277
 3:28 pm on Aug 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yep there is a lot of Yelp out there.

Blumenthal shared some SERPs that had 10 Yelp listings on top. (But that was pre Pigeon.)

But this algo is still in major flux. The Seattle Chiro rankings I've been tracking and sharing continue to change daily. So the algo is still in major flux.

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

Hang on to your seats. It continues to be a wild ride out there in Google Local Land!

Linda Buquet

dman15




msg:4692493
 6:30 pm on Aug 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hello I'm new hear in pursuit of this latest Train Wreck with G7. It just threw everything everywhere even neighboring states for local results in G7. For my clients in many different industries from coast to coast and what I can see, Google has done another house cleaning of dead wood floating around, which there was plenty of. I guess we will see how this will pan out for legitimate businesses playing by the Big G Rule Book. Just food for thought, I was testing with "s" added to search term query and it has changed the G Pack from 3 or 4 to 7, which in some industries i hadn't seen before. I'm guessing they are creating more space for G7's as someone has mentioned earlier. Like the Yelp Comment, LOL. Have noticed with one of my clients that they were awarded one of the neighboring towns they have been asking for. Will it stick, that we will have to see over time or at least till the next train wreck, LOL. Good Luck Everyone.

jberry803




msg:4693145
 2:28 pm on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

My results are all over the place. One person mentioned that they had clients that were pleasantly rewarded and some that were crushed. I am in this boat. I have a customer who was at the top of local listings in just about every search term for his niche and now he's gotten more love by being added to the top of neighboring cities. Another one of my customers who I worked hard at getting to the top of a neighboring town was struck and replaced with people who only had a G+ page, no website, and were in neighboring towns.

This has me up in arms as to what I need to change in order to get the one customer back into local listings in "TOWN B".. He's currently at the top in his town but his satellite operation in town B is still on the map but not in top results anymore.

dman15




msg:4693149
 3:03 pm on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

jberry803
"My results are all over the place. One person mentioned that they had clients that were pleasantly rewarded and some that were crushed. I am in this boat. I have a customer who was at the top of local listings in just about every search term for his niche and now he's gotten more love by being added to the top of neighboring cities. Another one of my customers who I worked hard at getting to the top of a neighboring town was struck and replaced with people who only had a G+ page, no website, and were in neighboring towns.

This has me up in arms as to what I need to change in order to get the one customer back into local listings in "TOWN B".. He's currently at the top in his town but his satellite operation in town B is still on the map but not in top results anymore."


LOL I just noticed we are both new,
anyway I am riding out the wave and watching before driving myself nuts trying to rectify anything, because haste can look to Google as an over excessive effort to get better rank, which can negatively affect your clients more. I have had the same situation as you, loosing about 10 - 12 towns in one swoop, but yet again I never promise 1st position because of this very scenario. We do not own the algorithm, it's Google's and are at free will to do as they please.
All we can do is play by their rules and engage with what they are looking for.

But I do think you are hitting on something with G+ interaction, activity or verification, or NAP for that matter, but way too early to tell yet. Things are still changing daily. For me I still think they were cleaning house of all the dead wood out there.

So for you, forgive me if I'm wrong, with "Town B" and if it is not a neighboring town, but a second location for the business is to have the second location claimed and if no physical address then you may need to expand to a EMD site.
Again just food for thought. Hope this calms you a bit. Good Luck.

jberry803




msg:4693159
 3:23 pm on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yes, I haven't made any changes at this point hoping that things would be rectified or at least a little better. Town B does have a website, location, and G+ page hence the chagrin for his total wipe-out there. The replacement for him is a duplicate G+ Page entry for the same business. It's puzzling to say the least. This is supposed to be weeding out the crap but it seems they're introducing crap.

For the last 11-years I've seen changes and adapted to the different algorithms so it doesn't have me worried. Just concerned over this current path they seem to be taking.

Hopefully things will soon simmer down (At least with the daily changes) and we can get back to planning our strategies.

dman15




msg:4693166
 3:39 pm on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

jberry803
Yes, I haven't made any changes at this point hoping that things would be rectified or at least a little better. Town B does have a website, location, and G+ page hence the chagrin for his total wipe-out there. The replacement for him is a duplicate G+ Page entry for the same business. It's puzzling to say the least. This is supposed to be weeding out the crap but it seems they're introducing crap.

For the last 11-years I've seen changes and adapted to the different algorithms so it doesn't have me worried. Just concerned over this current path they seem to be taking.

Hopefully things will soon simmer down (At least with the daily changes) and we can get back to planning our strategies.


I agree major flux on GPP's, I have seen what you are seeing now, where it is just a scrambled mess, over the last day or so positions have come back slowly and as you mentioned neighboring towns rewarded. But what giveth may taketh away. So just grab a surfboard and ride the wave to the end. It should settle soon.

Robert Charlton




msg:4693617
 2:59 am on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm going to link back to our "Pigeon" discussion in Google SEO News, which co-exists with this one, though doesn't necessarily relate. It's hard to divide them up, because, as I'd noted in SEO News, the update "is a melding of multiple aspects of local, organic, and mobile considerations."

So, the Google organic discussion is here...

Pigeon Update Or Rollback Happening Now?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4692003.htm [webmasterworld.com]

I'm thinking that most of the discussion about changes in traditional Local/Google+ factors probably belongs in this discussion... and I'm hoping it's OK with the mods in this forum for me to link to a thread illustrating some of the Pigeon inconsistencies that Catalyst/Linda Buquet has posted in her blog....

Google Pigeon Collateral Damage & What You Can Do About it
[localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com...]

Because this is a local update, probably different from city to city, not everyone can see what's going on.

To quote part of what I'd posted in our SEO News thread about the current state of the update...
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.

Catalyst




msg:4693887
 9:52 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks Robert!

One of the reasons it's so hard to figure this one out is that it keeps changing so radically and frequently.

I've been more in-depth tracking of one SERP in a different thread and already today the SERPs have radically changed 3 times. So either they are still testing or are rotating datacenters or something. No one, not even Blumenthal has figured it out yet. It's just still to dynamic.

That's why in the post you linked to above I tried to share some things folks could do if they are negatively affected by this update while it rolls out. (Not simply if you dropped but if you pack is filled with spam, bogus or out of business results.)

But hopefully this update will stabilize and start serving up better results soon.

jberry803




msg:4693888
 9:57 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have seen 3-changes today on one niche which is in roofing. Google apparently thought it was relevant to throw in a neighboring city's thrift store. Because we all know you can get pants, shirts, and a roof while you're at the thrift store... :(

Catalyst




msg:4693908
 11:28 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

But when you are a roofer your clothes get dirty and torn up so maybe a thrift store would come in handy. :-P

Oops, maybe for the roofer but result was not for the searcher...

Silly pigeon! ;-)

Linda

earlpearl




msg:4696806
 4:02 pm on Aug 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Here it is, over 3 weeks later and I'm still seeing ranking flux. I was following some restaurant searches and saw tremendous changes and am still seeing them.

Interestingly on one of Mike B's blog posts about the impact of Pigeon, I responded suggesting that the changes, which highlighted our smb in the PAC but cut out our above the PAC organics was possibly harmful. Another commentator thought her top of the PAC ranking w/ the reviews was helpful.

This change impacts different smb's and different industries differently. I still have not seen or read of any definitive ideas on what is being emphasized and what has been deemphasized.

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