How Google Local Search Algorithm, “Pigeon” 2014 Works?

It has been a week exactly since the Google local listing algorithm hit many websites and blogs to filter the local businesses from global.

Local listings algorithm is not a spam weed out algorithm. I have seen some of our client blogs and websites being indexed with the same pace even after the hit. So that means local listing algorithm is not about filtering spam but what else? That’s what got my interest turn on to it.

The interest inspired me research on the major changes regarding the business listings on Google made by so called “Pigeon” update.

How Google Local Search Algorithm, Pigeon 2014 Works

What were affected?

I have found some reasons after a keen research on the ‘Pigeon’ update by Google 2014. Here are the reasons why I found them being punished by it

Businesses with no address specification on major pages including contact pages were affected.

Businesses with websites having more number of odds of getting placed on top of local listings. That means websites that were badly synced with the Google+ local business pages.

Websites with non-informative service pages were affected. The static pages with no specification of servicing areas were opted out.

Websites with less optimized contact pages were affected. This is not exactly the same point #1 discussed above. Optimizing contact information on the contact us page is as important as having an address at all.

Businesses with vague Google+ pages were also affected. Business owners who felt lazy over filling out information on Google+ pages were punished by Google law. It seems Google values hard workers.

What are considered?

Google’s idea of refining local listings consider the following aspects mainly in 2k14.

#1 Relevance

The location of the business is the abstract consideration what Google considers in delivering best results for the search queries. It takes care that the keywords searched for a business are much relevant enough to the listings that are available in the surroundings of the user.

# 2 Prominence

Google picks out the businesses that are prominent in the area. For example, there exists three ‘package & movers’ businesses in your area and when you search for it on Google, it shows the famous business around.

The prominence works if the website and Google+ page is neatly designed with furnished with information of locality and availability.

#3 Distance

Distance is one of the major considerations of Google local listings. What if Google shows you a famous business around which is located about 25km away your location? Not fair right? Google thought so and gave some space for the word ‘distance’ in its local listings algorithm.

It doesn’t mean Google will show up some bad reputed businesses if the good ones are located far away. The right proportion of Relevancy, Prominence and Distance concepts are mixed into the algorithm and made it smart enough to take automatic decisions.

Final word

If your business also hit by Google, then try troubleshooting the areas of the website and Google+ page said under ‘what were affected?’. If you can’t, wait for another 24 hours for an update on ‘optimization guide for pigeon update’.
optimization guide for Pigeon available.

Is your business hit by Google? What do you think affected your business listings in 2014? Share your thoughts about it in comments.

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