One of the biggest updates to local search was announced just over a week ago. The last local search update was on 10/2012 (65-Pack Update).
Image source: Mozcast
As Mozcast reports, there has been a decline in local search results over the last week. Linda Buquet, Google Local specialist says that this is a major update and in the future, Google’s local search will have stronger ties to web search signals.
The Pigeon update will bring in the following changes:
- More visibility to local search results on SERPs
- Yelp problem solved – Yelp results will now be included as part of local listing
- Boost for other local directories
Image source: SearchEngineLand
- Benefit for big directory sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor – they now rank prominently on search results for local search queries
This update is currently being rolled out for US English queries and is likely to be extended to other regions. A complete update of Pigeon would have knee-deep effects…
Looking at this from a SEO perspective:
- Local search directories get higher visibility
- Vertical specific big directories will stand out with more benefits. A search on Google for “sushi bars hawaii” now no longer displays the 7-pack results. This is now replaced by top directories.
- Website authority will be directly linked to local search results. Google’s intent is to provide useful, relevant and accurate search results to users
- Local carousels will be displayed with good images and customer reviews attracting good rankings
Although at first glance this update might seem more relevant to B2C businesses, at Position2 we believe it will benefit B2B firms as well. To help our clients (in B2B and B2C worlds), we are rolling out many new initiatives to help with local search. Some of those include:
- Basic principle of local SEO, i.e., NAP – Name, Address and Placement are not to be forgotten
- Creation and optimization of listing on Google + Local pages. We share a detailed G+ strategy with our clients and help them implement the same. We see great results from this strategy. However, this has to be managed even after the G+ strategy has been provided.
- Optimizing on Google Maps to be given importance along with integration of Google Maps and user-generated reviews
- Customer reviews and ratings to be updated on G+ local pages
- Having good presence on business-specific local search directories
- Including schema to help Google show personalized results
Have noticed changes in your site’s local search rankings? Tell us in the comments box below.
Stay tuned to Google as the update is still being rolled out!
Contributed by Chetan Rajasekaraiah, Senior SEO Specialist, SEO team