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Pigeon Algorithm Update, Factors and Recovery

Last updated on 19 March, 2024 by Web Jeevan

The Pigeon Algorithm Update, introduced by Google in 2014, aimed to improve the accuracy and relevance of local search results. This update specifically targeted queries with local intent, such as “restaurants near me” or “plumbers in [city].” Pigeon aimed to provide more accurate and useful search results by incorporating additional ranking factors, such as location proximity and local business directories. It emphasized the importance of local search signals, including Google My Business listings and user reviews, in determining search rankings. This algorithm update aimed to enhance the user experience by providing more relevant and geographically targeted results for local searches.

Why did Google name it Pigeon?

The exact reason behind why Google named this algorithm update “Pigeon” has not been officially disclosed by the company. However, it is widely believed that the name was chosen because pigeons are known for their ability to navigate and find their way home accurately. This aligns with the objective of the Pigeon update, which aimed to improve the accuracy and relevance of local search results, helping users find their desired local businesses or services more effectively. Additionally, Google has a tradition of naming its algorithm updates after animals, such as Panda and Penguin, which might have influenced the choice of the name “Pigeon.”

Factors of Pigeon Google Algorithm Update

The Pigeon Google Algorithm Update incorporated several factors to improve the accuracy and relevance of local search results. Some key factors included:

1. Location proximity

The update gave more weight to the user’s physical location when delivering local search results. It aimed to provide results that were geographically closer to the user’s location.

2. Local directory citations

Pigeon emphasized the importance of local business directories like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Yellow Pages. Websites listed in these directories gained increased visibility in local search results.

3. Google My Business (GMB) signals

Pigeon placed greater emphasis on optimizing and maintaining an accurate and up-to-date Google My Business listing. Factors like completeness of information, consistency of NAP (Name, Address, Phone) data, and user reviews on GMB became more influential.

4. On-page SEO factors

Traditional on-page SEO factors, such as relevant keywords, title tags, and meta descriptions, continued to play a role in local search rankings.

5. User behavior and engagement

Pigeon took into account user behavior signals, such as click-through rates, bounce rates, and the overall engagement with local search results. High-quality, engaging content was rewarded.

It’s important to note that specific details of Google’s algorithm updates are not publicly disclosed, and the factors mentioned above are based on observations and analysis by SEO experts and industry professionals.

How to recover from Pigeon Google Algorithm Update

Recovering from the Pigeon Google Algorithm Update requires implementing effective strategies to improve your local search visibility and relevance. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing

Ensure that your GMB profile is complete, accurate, and up-to-date. Provide consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information, choose relevant categories, and include high-quality photos. Encourage customers to leave positive reviews.

2. Enhance local directory citations

Identify and claim your business listings on popular local directories like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Yellow Pages. Ensure that your information is consistent across all directories and regularly monitor and update your listings.

3. Focus on local content

Create unique and relevant content for your website that highlights local aspects, such as location-specific keywords, local events, or community engagement. This can help improve your visibility in local searches.

4. Improve website SEO

Optimize your website for local SEO by including location-specific keywords in title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and content. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and has fast loading speeds.

5. Monitor and respond to user feedback

Regularly monitor and respond to user reviews and feedback, both positive and negative. Engage with customers and address any concerns promptly and professionally.

6. Build local backlinks

Seek opportunities to earn quality backlinks from local websites, blogs, or organizations. This can help improve your website’s authority and visibility in local search results.

7. Provide excellent user experience

Focus on delivering a great user experience on your website, including easy navigation, clear contact information, and fast-loading pages. Encourage visitors to spend more time on your site and engage with your content.

Remember that recovering from an algorithm update takes time and ongoing effort. Continuously monitor your website’s performance, adapt to changes, and stay updated with the latest SEO best practices and guidelines from Google.

A complete timeline of Pigeon Google Algorithm Update

The Pigeon Google Algorithm Update was rolled out by Google in a series of updates over the course of a few months. Here is a timeline of the significant events related to the Pigeon update:

  • July 24, 2014: Google officially announces the Pigeon update, stating that it will improve local search results and their relevance to users’ location.
  • Late July 2014: The Pigeon update is first observed and reported by SEO experts and webmasters, noting significant changes in local search rankings and results.
  • July 24 to August 19, 2014: The initial rollout of the Pigeon update takes place, impacting local search results across various locations and industries.
  • August 22, 2014: Google confirms that the Pigeon update has been launched for U.S. English search queries, with plans to expand it globally in the future.
  • December 22, 2014: Google rolls out a minor update to Pigeon, affecting search results for specific search queries and improving local listing rankings.
  • January 7, 2015: The Pigeon update is reported to have expanded to impact search results in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
  • April 21, 2015: Google officially announces a significant update to its mobile search algorithm, referred to as “Mobilegeddon.” Although not directly related to Pigeon, it highlights Google’s increasing focus on mobile-friendly websites and mobile search experience.

Since its initial rollout, Google has made several smaller updates and refinements to the Pigeon algorithm to improve its effectiveness and address user feedback. However, specific dates and details of these subsequent updates have not been publicly disclosed by Google.

FAQs for Pigeon Google Algorithm Update

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the Pigeon Google Algorithm Update:

1. What is the Pigeon Google Algorithm Update?

Answer : The Pigeon update is a Google algorithm update that was released in 2014. It aimed to improve the relevance and accuracy of local search results by incorporating additional local search signals and factors.

2. How does the Pigeon update impact local search results?

Answer : The Pigeon update affects local search results by giving more weight to location proximity, local directory citations, Google My Business signals, on-page SEO factors, and user behavior and engagement. It aims to provide users with more accurate and geographically relevant local search results.

3. How can I recover from the Pigeon update if my website’s rankings have been affected?

Answer : To recover from the Pigeon update, focus on optimizing your Google My Business listing, enhancing local directory citations, creating local content, improving website SEO, monitoring and responding to user feedback, building local backlinks, and providing an excellent user experience. It’s a long-term process that requires ongoing effort and adherence to best practices.

4. Does the Pigeon update only affect businesses in specific industries?

Answer : No, the Pigeon update can impact businesses across various industries that rely on local search visibility. It aims to improve local search results for a wide range of queries with local intent, such as “restaurants near me,” “hotels in [city],” or “plumbers in [area].”

5. Are there any specific penalties associated with the Pigeon update?

Answer : The Pigeon update does not introduce specific penalties. Instead, it focuses on adjusting the ranking factors and signals used to deliver local search results. However, if your website does not comply with Google’s quality guidelines or engages in manipulative tactics, it may be subject to penalties unrelated to the Pigeon update.

6. Has the Pigeon update been rolled out globally?

Answer : Initially, the Pigeon update was launched for U.S. English search queries. However, Google expanded its impact to other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, although specific dates and details of these expansions have not been publicly disclosed.

Conclusion for Pigeon Google Algorithm Update

In conclusion, the Pigeon Google Algorithm Update, introduced in 2014, aimed to enhance the accuracy and relevance of local search results. It incorporated factors such as location proximity, local directory citations, Google My Business signals, on-page SEO, and user behavior to deliver more geographically targeted and helpful search results. Recovering from the Pigeon update requires optimizing Google My Business listings, improving local directory citations, creating local content, and providing a positive user experience. Although specific details of subsequent updates are not publicly disclosed, staying informed about the latest SEO best practices is essential for maintaining and improving local search visibility.

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