Overview of Google’s Pigeon update

What is Pigeon?

Pigeon is the latest Algorithm to hit the SEO world.  It was rolled out by Google on 24th July 2014 and the name pigeon does not derive from Google but from SEO experts as Google have shrouded it in mystery and haven’t given it a formal name or released any details about the update.

It was given the name Pigeon as it is it is a local search ranking change and pigeons tend to fly back to where they came from.  In the next few months it will no doubt be called its official name via Google, so keep on eye on our blog for new updates.

Essentially it is a new algorithm that has been added to the mix of penguin, panda and hummingbird for ranking websites on their search engine.  The update has been applied to both web and map search.

What is known?

Very little is known about the pigeon update as many experts in the field are tirelessly trying to decipher how the new algorithm works, however we do know the following:-

  1. Results are changing on a regular basis
  2. Pigeon likes directory sites
  3. In the carousel and map pack, local businesses are appearing as opposed to local well known brands/chains
  4. The local carousel results show local businesses and organic results are directories.
  5. The search radius has been reduced for local search queries
  6. There has been a reduction in duplicate listings.  Websites no longer appear on both the carousel and organic search results
  7. It is not a penalty algorithm

What’s next?

It may be tempting to stop everything you are doing to address this update alone, however the Pigeon update is a change to one of the core algorithms, so with this in mind, you should continue what you are doing to address the previous updates and work on the following:-

  1. Engaging with your fans on social media.
  2. Collecting positive reviews from customers via Google +.
  3. Optimising your site content for your important keywords.
  4. Creating unique and engaging content for your site.
  5. Creating and optimising your Google business listing.  This can be done by listing your business and applying for verification.  Google will usually send you a postcard in the post with a verification code to confirm your listing.
  6. Checking your important keywords to see which directories are appearing now, and make sure you are listed with them.
  7. Make sure your directory listing are fully optimised


It may take a few more weeks or even months until the experts have finally nailed down the key factors that affect the algorithm, however in the meantime, if you are working on the core principles of SEO already, you will have a strong foundation to build on and tweak for this, and any future updates.

Have you seen any changes in your local listings?  What are your thoughts’s to the Google Pigeon update?  Do you think you have been affected?  Get in touch with us and let us know your view.

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