Were your firm's local search engine results affected by Google's recent algorithm change, colloquially referred to as "Pigeon"? Queries related to law got a 3.55% boost according to Searchengineland.
But we've also seen some weird results, with some firms leap-frogging competitors and others being relegated to the back of the field. In general directories got a boost from Pigeon, as did queries relating to the hospitality, food and education sectors, with smaller gains for queries related to spa, shop, medical and transportation.
However there were negative impacts on queries related to jobs, real estate, movies, insurance, finance, furniture and government, according to Searchengineland.
What was the Google Pigeon algorithm update?
Basically, the update was to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results by improving distance and location ranking parameters. In other words, if your firm has a Google Business Page and you also listed your firm's physical address on each page of your website, then you may have pulled through the turbulence without too much change.
However, others have noticed that their results have plummeted.
Digging a little further into the algorithm change, while the emphasis by Google was aligning geographical signals, there was also an increased emphasis on back-links (those external links pointing to your firm's website).
What you can pull from all this, is that it is time to do three things:1Ensure that the physical address of your firm is on each page of your website.2If you haven't created a Google Business page, it's time to do it.3Get listings in directories like Yelp (especially now that we are seeing a boost for directory listings)4Create a great, local-focused content strategy5Utilize traditional on-page SEO tactics6Continue an engaged social media presence7Manage your listings well8If your firm hasn't a back-linking strategy, you should consider one. This doesn't mean paying money to get links, but rather identifying useful online resources and other companies of which your firm has a relationship and requesting a link on their website, or alternatively pursuing blog writing opportunities on their website and deriving a link for doing so.
One last thing, given Google Panda -- yet another algorithm update -- seriously penalized businesses with spammy back-links, while you're tinkering, do a search on all the back-links pointing to your site currently (there are a number of free tools out there that will do this). If you find some back-links that are a little weird, request removal. It may just save you from being sand-boxed.