Making the Most of Google’s new Pigeon Algorithm Update

Google has released a new algorithm (dubbed “Pigeon” within the SEO community) which was released in North America back in July 2014 and now recently released to Australia just prior to Christmas. Google’s new algorithm is set to improve search results based on location queries by tying these types of queries to its traditional set of ranking signals (about 300 of them!). The changes will be visible within the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results.

Essentially what this means is that we will now be seeing more “local pack” (or map results) search results for queries based on a location.

What are “local pack” (map results)?

In Google, the search results that show up to 7 business names, addresses, phone numbers and a map is referred to as a Local Pack. Example: “plumbers bondi”:

Plumbers Bondi

How to Optimise for Google’s Pigeon Algorithim Update

  • Ensure you have verified your business with Google. (Google will send you a postcard to your business’ physical address with a special code used to verify your business). Once verified you now have the opportunity to begin appearing for local search based queries (map results)
  • Create a Google+ Local Business page and choose the option with the red balloon to be found on local listings
  • Ensure you have an active business website or use your hipages profile page when completing your Google+ Local Business page
  • Make sure your location in listed in your meta description on your homepage
  • Make sure your location is listed within your homepage title tag and within the contents of your homepage
  • Make sure your full business address is featured somewhere on the homepage of your website (or at the very least About Us or Contact Us pages for example)