Google is always trying to help answer questions.
As a search engine, Google’s goal is to serve up the most useful, helpful, and exact answers to the user. With this in mind, Google has released a new algorithm to help them do just that. Though Google has not yet released the official name, many have dubbed this new algorithm “Pigeon.”
Just a month or so ago, Google made an overhaul of their Local/Maps and Social platform with the creation of Google My Business. Google My Business integrated Local Business Pages and Google+ Business Pages to make one single Google page for business that has both local and social capabilities.
The new Pigeon algorithm takes this one step further, tying together traditional search results with local/maps search results to better help serve users with answers.
Essentially, this algorithm makes searching for local things easier.
The vast majority of this algorithm works behind the scenes updating how results are ranked, but the real power of this update is that local businesses may experience a spike or drop in website traffic, depending upon how they have set up their Google My Business Page.
For example, if you search for “best Chinese food” you don’t want to see results that are 25 miles away, results for BBQ Restaurants, or results that have poor reviews. You want to see highly rated Chinese restaurants near you for your next meal!
The Pigeon algorithm rewards businesses that have set up their Local pages in a “White Hat” manner (following best practices) and will be weeding out those Local pages that attempted to use “Black Hat” or spammy tactics to show up in local results. It’s crucial that you make sure your page is created properly, full of quality information, and ready to be found by customers searching for you!
At the end of the day, Google’s searchers have questions. The Pigeon algorithm is in effect to help answer them.