One of those didn’t belong…until Thursday, July 24, thanks to Google.
The Google Pigeon Update is comfortably labelled Google’s widest-reaching local algorithm update since 2012’s Venice Update. Impacting around 24% of all local (7-Pack) search results (according to Moz and Whitespark), the Pigeon Update aimed to improve results through two upgrades:
1. Incorporated organic algorithm ranking signals into the local algorithm. This includes traditional signals such as domain authority, backlinks, on-site keywords and content, and more.
2. Improved Google’s location-targeting parameters, to serve more relevant results based on a user’s physical location.
On paper, these are definite upgrades for users. Local search results have been known to reward local SEO activity over a more dormant site that is clearly of higher quality and value to users. However, in practice, Google Pigeon has brought out all of the pigeon poop puns.
Non-existent/broken business listings, One-Box results for non-branded searches, a complete lack of 7-Pack bubbles, and online-only companies masquerading as brick-and-mortar businesses are just a handful of issues local SEO experts have documented in the post-Pigeon world of local search.
Like any other algorithmic glitch, Google will undoubtedly fix most of these problematic search results. Also like any other algorithmic glitch, Google doesn’t have a public timeline for remediation. So sit back, relax, and check out a couple bad Pigeon-created search results we dredged up, then read a litany of expert opinions on Google Pigeon (links below):
You’ll laugh (or cry) when you see it…
I wasn’t aware we had only one option in a city of over 300,000 people
Google Pigeon News & Reactions:
Picking Through Google’s Pigeon Droppings… – By Andrew Shotland
Google Pigeon Poo – By Mike Blumenthal
Google Pigeon Collateral Damage & What You Can Do About It – By Linda Buquet