Some days ago, Google released a significant update to its local search algorithm. The unofficial name of that update is “Pigeon”. The algorithm update changes the local search results on Google. How does this affect your rankings and what do you have to do?
Google aims to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results. The changes are visible on the regular web search results page and the results page of Google Maps.
Although Google did not reveal the details, the new ranking algorithm now uses ranking signals that are used in regular web search. The local search results are tied more closely to the regular web search ranking signals.
Google also tried to improve the distance and location ranking parameters.
How will this change affect your website rankings?
The new algorithm is currently rolling out for US English results. If your website does not target the USA, you probably won’t see any changes.
So far, the new algorithm has led to the following changes:
- Local directory sites get better visibility in Google’s search results. For example, Yelp.com pages can now be seen at the top of the search results if the search query contains the word “Yelp”.
- For some searches (hotels, restaurants), individual local businesses seem to be listed in the carousel at the top of the search results page. Below that, you will get directory style web pages. Individual local business pages are moved to results page two.
- For other searches (pizza delivery), the first
results page mainly shows individual businesses.
If your local business website has strong SEO signals (good content, many backlinks, mentions on social networks) then this algorithm update can lead to higher rankings.
If your website does not have these strong SEO signals, it’s likely that your website will be outranked by other sites.
How to get the SEO signals that are needed for the new algorithm
It’s no longer enough to be located in the right place if you want to appear in Google’s local search results. If you want to get high rankings, your website needs good content, good backlinks and mentions on social networks.
The tools in SEOprofiler help you to get these strong SEO signals. SEOprofiler is a proven SEO tool that will help you to get your website on Google’s first result page.
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