Danielle Collier, Business Development

In recent months, Google released a new algorithm for local search analytics that has become known as the Pigeon Update. Pigeon has wreaked havoc on search engine optimization (SEO) companies efforts by single handedly changing search results in more ways than one. From decreased traffic due to spam links to almost completely removing the need for ranking results in local search, Pigeon is starting to live up to its true identity as the bird that no one likes.

The Pigeon Update is causing rankings results for local search to fluctuate drastically, in turn making them what some sources are calling unreliable. It has also brought to light the fact that ranking reports aren't necessarily the best indicator of SEO success anymore. The outcome of organic search metrics after the update easily illustrates how a consumer finds a business information, regardless of whether they're searching for them by name or keyword without needing any additional analytics. The Pigeon Update further reinforces the fact that is it imperative that your organic search information is always the most accurate while being displayed across multiple search platforms.

Not only are ranking results being negatively impacted, but big brands are seeing their traffic results drop dramatically after the algorithm for the Pigeon Update was tweaked just this month. Some brands have seen as much as a 10% drop in their website's traffic due to Pigeon. The algorithm forces Google to search for brand queries rather than a simple brand name with location query, resulting in brand spam results instead of actual local search results for the brand at hand. The initial results displayed push the actual local results that consumers are searching for down the page and can cause less traction for click-thru and page visits. Unfortunately, just changing your domain name to beat the algorithm won't work. Eventually Google will start flagging brands that do for inappropriate practices.

Google's Pigeon Update has now made it vital for businesses to have correct, consistent enhanced content for local business listings on as many search platforms as possible so that data isn't effected as harshly as it has been because of the Pigeon Update. In today's local search space, the top data aggregators have made it possible for a business to easily manage their business information across multiple platforms. Make sure you work with a company that has the technology and expertise to optimize your data Post Pigeon.