Google Pigeon…It’s Not a Bird

Have you noticed a drop in call volume since mid-summer? Fewer calls coming in can mean a significant drop in revenues, which no business wants to experience. If your phones are ringing less often, this may be why…

In late-July Google rolled out a local algorithm update, called “Pigeon“, this update impacted U.S. English searches. The noticeable change is two-fold:

  1. Some business websites that were on Page 1 were bumped to Page 2 (or lower)
  2. Searches that previously returned a Map may not be showing it now

Local businesses have been scrambling to adjust, as some deal with the fact that they got bumped from Pge 1 and/or they are no longer showing in the seven-pack (map) results at all.

Some are referring to Pigeon as the biggest Google update to the local search results since the Venice update in 2012. Google said the latest update would make local search more closely mimic traditional organic rankings.

For a number of industries the search results now show directory sites (Yelp, AngiesList, etc.) on Page 1 at the expense of local business websites. This is a big deal because Page 1 visibility is critical to getting the phone to ring.

The Takeaway?

This change requires local businesses to:

1. Make sure your business has its directory listings completely filled out and that they are in as many directories as you can find.

2. Strongly consider adding PPC campaigns to their marketing efforts. PPC is not affected by search changes.

3. Consider adding neighborhood-level content to your website

If your business has experienced a drop in call volume and you cannot explain it, this is very likely the cause. There are steps you can take to address the change. If you have any questions about how to do it, please feel free to contact Downstream Digital Marketing.

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