On 24th July 2014 Google has updated on more algorithm for local search results. Here I am highlighting few important changes of Pigeon Algorithm.
1. Local listing packs disappear for a huge number of keywords
If over the past few days your website has encountered a traffic drop, this may well be due to the disappearance of certain of your local listings.
If that is the case, in the short run you may need to cover the traffic losses with a PPC campaign, and in the long run — focus on getting Web search listings for those keywords.
2. Local rankings are expected to depend more on website authority
If your local rankings have suddenly dropped over the past few days, this may mean your site’s general SEO characteristics lack behind those of your competition.
Run a thorough competition research to see how your backlinks, content and other SEO characteristics stand to those of other high ranking websites.
3. Ranking boost is seen for Yelp and other local directories.
Even if less of your potential clients may now be able to find your biz website, many more of them can find you via local directory sites. This makes it crucial to build a solid business presence on leading local directories in your industry.
- Find the most influential local directories in your niche
- Make sure your business is listed in each of these directories.
- Track how rankings change for your different listings.
4. Local carousel remains a way to gain extra exposure.
Carousel results put a heavy emphasis on your listing’s image and rating, while showing all options side-by-side. So make sure to put a nice, high-quality and attractive photo in your Google+ business profile and encourage your customers to review your business.
A few more general recommendations and best practices for local rankings improvement:
Though the changes in SERPs now seem to be quite considerable, the basic principles of local SEO are expected to remain the same. So here are some general recommendations for your local business to get better Google exposure.
a. Individual Google+ Local page for your business
Creating a Google+ Local page for your local business is the first step to being included in Google’s local index. Your second step is to verify your ownership of the listing. This typically involves receiving a postcard/letter from Google containing a pin number which you must enter in order to complete verification.
b. Proper category for your Google+ Local page
If you wish to appear in the local results for a search like “dentists in denver”, your business must be categorized as a dentist. If it is categorized as a certified public accountant, you have no hope of appearing for your important search terms.
c. Local area code on Google+ Local page
Using local area code phone number as a primary phone number on Google+ Local page is considered a best practice. The area code of the phone number should match the area code/codes traditionally associated with your city of location.
d. NAP on your website matching NAP on your Google+ Local page
Google will be looking at the website you’ve linked to from your Google Places/Google+ Local page and cross reference the name, address and phone number of your business. If all elements match, you’re good to go.
e. NAP consistency in all your business listings
Make sure your business name, address and phone number are also consistent in all local directories where your business is listed. Different addresses listed for your business on Yelp and TripAdvisor, for instance, may put your rankings to nowhere.
f. Large number of positive customer reviews on Google+ Local page and on third-party sources
The number of positive reviews has a proven influence on local search rankings. So make sure to encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews of your biz.
g. City or state included into your website’s title tags.
Another important factor for your “local” landing page is to have the city or state you’re targeting included into its Title tag.
h. Product/service keyword in business title
It is also believed that having the name of a core product or service in your business name may give you some advantage over competitors who lack this.
Ok, here is a quick outline of what is now know about the update — hope it helps you stay up to date. And if you found it guide useful, please let me know in comment and also share the guide with your contacts to help them.