Brightlocal hosted a webinar earlier this week covering the Google Pigeon update back in July 2014. Brightlocal is an SEO tool company that focuses on local search. I’ve trialed their tools and was impressed.
This topic may be a bit stale, but there was still some good information covered. The main changes I noticed when Pigeon dropped was that natural domain authority seemed to be more tied into map results once again, and map packs vanished from some pretty competitive SERPs. Some additional insights were shared with by the panel.
These are just my bulleted notes from the discussion. If any of this piques your interest you can watch a video of the discussion on the Brightlocal website.
- Reduction of local packs
- Decrease in radius of pack results.The map radius of results tightened up more for branded searches and searches including a explicit location keyword. It is like Google is serving mobile results to desktop. The radius is centered on searcher location.
- Big increase in spam. As map radius is reduced, inventory is decreased and Google needs to scrape the bottom of the barrel for relevant results in some areas.
Net effect? Pushing searchers and businesses to sponsored results (Adwords). Surprise!
Pigeon Ranking Factors
- Branding is over weighted.
- Branding weight has side effect of giving exact match domains or listing titles a boost.
- Age of listing is now over weighted.
- Organic ranking of linked website is more important.
- Keywords in the domain are more important (as in 2).
- Distance from centroid in both business location and search location is more important.
- New glitch/factor. “Relocated” listings can negatively impact related active listings. Look for and clean up those listings. Use Google Mapmaker and their support.
What can you do?
- Diversify marketing efforts. Don’t rely on Google for all of your traffic. Because Google doesn’t care about you (they prefer money).
- Report spam.
- There is still opportunity in the organic longtail traffic.