Local search had actually been spared much volatility considering that the Hummingbird upgrade last fall, but that's all changed now with the arrival of the Google Pigeon upgrade.
Focused on improving local search engine result and tying local results more carefully to basic web ranking signals, Pigeon is still being weighted as to its effects on local sites. A few of the more obvious changes are kept in mind below, however in general, first impressions are indicating that large brands and sites that are not real regional websites are not faring also.
Let's have a look at 3 methods Google Pigeon is seemingly affecting local search, and what if anything there is to do about it.
3 Initial effects Pigeon is carrying local search
Strong brand directories are winning – Directories like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Yellowpages.com are seeing an as much as 10 percent boost in traffic and positions, often showing up numerous times for a local search.
Smaller sized map radius – The view revealed by Maps is now oftentimes much smaller, minimizing the variety of businesses discovered in an area, and as a result opening the door for even more directory lead to order to have something to show at all. This makes it bothersome for locations just outside the precise search location to be seen as a choice in a surrounding area search.
Phasing out of the 7 pack – Far less local search terms are taking advantage of the increased visibility of the 7-pack. While bigger search terms still reveal this, a lot of now show a 3-pack with a lowered map radius, or nothing at all. The real world traffic loss professionals are reporting that a local company not showing up any longer in the map pack is losing 16 percent a month. Rather considerable.
As the Pigeon upgrade plays out and the dust settles, and goes through a few incarnations, it's going to be more clear what the long lasting impact is going to be for your local search engine result. Today, ensuring you are optimizing your local directory listings for all they're worth seems your finest line of defense.