Monday, 11 August 2014

How to combat “Pigeon” – the latest Google algorithm update

English: Columbidae - pigeon flying overhead
image: freedigitalphotos.net
The bird is back. However, this time it’s not the Penguin or Hummingbird algorithms of last year. Instead it’s “Pigeon” as so named by SEO blog Search Engine Land for want of an official name by Google.  The search industry is currently trying to understand the full impact of Pigeon, which largely affects local businesses, so stay tuned for further updates.

In the meantime however, there are a few things that both local businesses and local-based SEO firms representing businesses can do to make sure they adapt to this new algorithm. While many of these strategies have been around for a period of time, now it’s crunch time.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Google Local Listing: It’s important to make sure your local listing is claimed and that the data is accurate and the map pin is correct as to your businesses’ actual location. It can also be worth getting on Google+ Local too in order to help ensure that your business will come up in a local 7-Pack, (the results that show your business’ name, address, phone number and map).
Website: One thing that’s key is that your business has a website optimised with local search phrases. As well as this, having authentic, original content as well as a Responsively Designed website for mobile is a good idea.

Relevant Backlinks and quotes: If you come across opportunities to build your website’s authority using guest posting and building links with websites that have good Page Rank statuses then go for it! Make sure you actively seek out all opportunities to boost your business via websites that are relevant.

Local Business Directories: Seek out any and all major local directories that your business will fit into and make sure you optimise this listing. Claiming directories powered by Google Maps is always a good move. If a directory ranks for a relevant term, make sure you’re on that page.

Consistent Data: Across the board it’s vital that your name address and phone number are all the same. 
Initially local businesses should brace themselves to experience some kind of reduction in search visibility when Pigeon is rolled out. However, if you take advantage of these points, you can help to make sure your business is well-placed to take advantage of this new local search algorithm. This update is only the beginning and of course there will be more which will reshape the landscape of local search. There will also be updates of updates (if you get me) so be prepared! Ultimately, the only way to truly combat this is to ensure that your business has a head start – through a well-rounded and developed approach to digital marketing. 

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