Overview: Overall Gist

One of Google’s most significant algorithm adjustments made to improve local search results. And local companies often noticed the consequences of their website’s analytics data play to earn. Users of Google noticed the change as well. And it usually meant a different, and eventually, better, search experience when looking for local companies and information about them.


The idea that small businesses with locally relevant brick-and-mortar locations (think “mom and pop stores”). Regardless of size or brand popularity, deserve to show up in search just as much as other businesses. In the area makes perfect sense, assuming the business ranking well in the results provides what the search query suggests.

Google Update Targets

As a result of Pigeon’s first introduction, there a few more notable flaws, although these quickly addressed. The first Pigeon update to the initial launch occurred around August 1, 2014, and addressed some of the bugs. As a result, it’s not unreasonable to believe that multiple Pigeon updates have released after the original deployment in July 2014. A sequence of refreshes is typically followed by a big algorithm modification.

The pigeon was largely regarded as the most significant local algorithm change in history. And unquestionably the most significant since Google’s Venice upgrade in 2012. The majority of Google’s upgrades are kept under wraps. The pigeon was no exception with play & earn terms.

It had nothing to say about any of the modifications that most likely followed after making some general remarks on the initial Pigeon launch and what was particularly (kind of) modified. Internal links should also be considered while doing this since they serve as a signal to Google that the site of good quality. According to the study, major companies have more of them and so perform better. Make sure you have a list of your directory listings on hand as well and tidy them up if required.

It didn’t say much else after saying the Pigeon update rooted deeper into Google’s overall web search capabilities. Including the many ranking signals it uses in web search. And other important features that improved the overall search experience (Knowledge Graph, spelling corrections, synonyms, variations, and so on). It is important to manage the graphs along with the functionalities. So that it can be easy to manage the functionalities related to playing and earning.

Algorithm Rolled Out: July 24, 2014

Algorithm Winners & Losers

According to Jim Yu of Search Engine Watch, directories improved in results after Pigeon was released. Owing to the fact that huge sites like Yelp have higher domain authority than local company sites.

Other winners included:

  • The hotel industry grew by 28% in Google Places results.
  • Food prices increased by 19%.
  • The education sector grew by 13%.

These are big numbers for these businesses, thus it’s to hoped that these higher rankings resulted in more high-quality traffic and conversions. However, although these favourably benefited, several industrial sector search phrases suffered.

  • Real estate fell by 63%
  • Jobs saw a huge 68% decline in results
  • Insurance saw an 11% decline
  • Movies dropped by 36%

The latter has widely publicised, with Search Engine Land claiming that the data for real estate inquiries has “dire ramifications.” Many people reviewing the algorithm data. However, appear to concur that “the Pigeon upgrade hasn’t yet settled into its new home.” This is owing to the fact that Google rumoured to be testing two or three different versions of the algorithm with play to earn form.

To begin, as previously said, clean up any over-optimized pages by deleting certain district names and ensuring that those that do exist do so naturally. This means ensuring that the keyword density of any area-specific sites isn’t excessive and doesn’t constitute keyword stuffing.

Instead of using hidden pages, publish high-quality entries on what’s going on in each area. Such as events, local markets, and group meetings — whatever your speciality allows.

Algorithm Solution: Ideas to implement Google algorithm guidelines

Businesses that badly affected by Pigeon had a decline in both traffic and conversions. According to research conducted by SIM Partners, which looked at 5000 location pages across a number of sectors. In a blog post, Adam Dorfman said, “Pigeon is doing nothing to impact the quality of your traffic and is just sending you less of it.”

He went on to clarify that having a strong domain is critical for companies to achieve the most benefits from Pigeon. The debut of Pigeon meant that bigger companies with a national reach, as well as directories, were the greatest beneficiaries. Page authority scores appear to play a role in this. As the study discovered that sites with an authority score of less than 55 had a detrimental impact on local search results.

Local SEO Optimization

When optimising for local SEO, many sites include the surrounding areas that the business services. However, the research claims that “the over-optimisation dial has cranked up dramatically with the Pigeon update”. This implies that if you include too many nearby locations or postcodes in your search, your ranking may suffer. It’s standard practice to optimize in this way. And many black hat SEOs continue to develop pages dedicated to each region. It doesn’t display on the site’s visitor-facing content pages.

If it’s the case that Google cracking down on over-optimized local pages then it probably intended to discourage this. In order to overcome it, local businesses should try removing an area or two at a time from the site and monitor analytics to see if it makes a difference.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the algorithm has an influence on local search. So sites that rely on it for business may impacted poorly or positively. Depending on how near they are to the city, the quality of the site, and the industry they’re in play & earn mode. It crucial to note that Pigeon not a penalty-based algorithm, so even if your site not properly optimised for local, it won’t vanish from the SERPs overnight unless something else is seriously wrong.

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