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Google’s So-Called “Pigeon” Update Still Making its Mark on Local Search Results

According to our reports and opinions from others in the industry, the dust has yet to settle from Google’s latest attempt to improve local search results. Since the release of “Pigeon” back on July 24, 2014 we’ve consistently noticed fluctuations in local search results.

One month a client’s rankings are up and then the following month’s report shows just the opposite.

In case you missed our previous post on Pigeon here is a quick recap of its purpose. According to Google the update went deeper into their search capabilities by including hundreds of ranking signals, such as the Knowledge Graph, spelling corrections, synonyms, and so much more. Most importantly though it improved their distance and location parameters and this is where we’ve seen the biggest impact.

For example, it has become increasingly difficult for a business to rank for an area where it does not have a physical address. If you’re searching for steakhouse restaurants while in Orlando, Google wants to show you search results that only display restaurants with an Orlando address. A steakhouse in Winter Park (just outside Orlando) is going to have a hard time ranking for Orlando key phrases.

The fluctuations caused by Pigeon have been frustrating to say the least, but since the update we’ve made a concentrated effort to focus more on conversions. That is, turning visitors into customers.

Not too long ago an SEO’s responsibility consisted of increasing traffic and rankings. While that remains true today, the role of an SEO has broadened and clients now expect a lot more in return for their investment. Whether it’s through form submissions or call tracking, we’re doing all we can to show value with conversions – the ultimate goal of any SEO campaign.

One thing we’re noticing in the industry is an increase of pay-per-click campaigns. PPC has quickly become part of SEO and it’s an advertising strategy we’re certainly recommending and providing to clients. If your site is experiencing fluctuations in rankings it may be time to consider adding PPC to your marketing/advertising budget. We’ve found it’s a great way to get your services in front of the eyes of targeted customers.

If you’d like to learn more about our SEO and PPC services, call us today at 407-998-5593.