In a pretty major, pre-Christmas announcement Google has confirmed that its new local ranking algorithm, Google Pigeon, has flown beyond the borders of the US and landed in the UK, Canada and Australia.
We first saw the Google Pigeon update back in mid-July when it was rolled out in the US with the aim of providing more useful, insightful and accurate local search results by giving the local listing a more prominent ranking in the results of any given search query.
The Pigeon Has Landed!
The search area most affected by the update was, as you might expect, Google Maps and the Google Places listings derived from them, with many companies complaining about the changes but those in the hospitality, education and food sectors all experienced a significant uplift. Among those that suffered a fall were areas like were employment and insurance sector businesses so it could be argued that Pigeon did at least prioritise the kind of listings that fit best in Maps and Places.
What the impact will be like on the UK marketplace is something that we aren’t totally sure about just yet but it is likely to be broadly the same. So if you are in the employment or insurance industries, now might be a good time to invest some of your marketing budget elsewhere to minimise any shortfall that may be coming your way, because it doesn’t look like Pigeon is going anywhere anytime soon.
In fact Google has confirmed that it pressing ahead with rolling the update out to all English-speaking sectors apart from India.
US analysts have reported seeing something of a state of flux from the new update suggesting that it hasn’t fully settled down into its work and that at least some of the results we are seeing might not be permanent. Though it’s probably a fair assumption that the general direction we are seeing from Pigeon is one that it will stay true to, so it would still be a good idea to make adjustments to your marketing efforts to accommodate it.
If you are concerned about this latest update, and the impact it might have on your website, contact us today and have a chat with one of our friendly team.