A Pigeon is Not Just a Pigeon to an Inbound Marketing Company
When dealing with Google,?SEO has always been challenging. Google has never published the factors that their algorithm uses when calculating website rankings. Even more challenging, they?re notorious for updating and changing their OS as they work to improve and refine their search parameters.?The most recent Google update is called Pigeon, and it?s focused local search parameters.? A recent survey of over 600 SEO and inbound marketing company professionals conducted by InsideLocal during a webinar on the impact of Pigeon found some interesting opinions and approaches to the update.? Let?s look at how participants responded to four key questions.
Of the professionals surveyed, 69% believe that Pigeon will deliver good changes for searchers, while 53% believe that it?s bad for business. Pigeon seems to have improved the search experience for users. The update tightened the search radius for improved targeting of results and refocused the parameters towards the users location rather than a generalized ?city? search.
Should You Change Your Local Search Strategy?
By a two to one ratio, 66% of respondents answered that they have changed or are planning to change strategy. This is an interesting outlook considering that a number of studies of Pigeon suggest that more power is being given to traditional organic search ranking parameters like authority and links, while pure local signals appear to have lost some juice.
Most experts agree that for the typical inbound marketing company, strategy should focus on the basic. Keeping a strategy focused on activities that build brand awareness, reputation and relationships still seems to be the strongest approach. Google will (as always) reward businesses with high trust and engagement.
Has Traffic Changed Since The Update?
Overwhelmingly 87% of those surveyed reported no significant change in traffic. While this question dealt with all traffic from search (both local and organic) the results show that any shifts have been minor.? While this is encouraging, some industries have seen local packs completely stripped out (e.g. Realtors) so these businesses are likely to be the worst effected by the change.? On average, more businesses claim to have lost traffic than gained, even though the losses appear to be minor. But has the quality of traffic improved?
Has Your Conversion Rate Improved Since Pigeon?
The results here are interesting. 24% said that conversions have decreased while 18% noted improvement. A full 58% have reported no change since the update.? Google has been touting the benefits of the increased relevance and localization of result with Pigeon. Theoretically at least, tightening geographic parameters and smaller pack sizes should be giving users a more targeted set of sites to choose from.? The hope was that even with lower volume, because traffic is more targeted, conversions would increase. Unfortunately most poll respondents don?t concur as 82% said conversions are lower or the same.
Basically this update hasn?t delivered a major impact, either positively or negatively for most businesses. Any impact seems to vary depending on specific circumstances and there appear to be no clear winners or losers with Pigeon.?The best advice seems to be to diversify away from Google and focus on the basics. Build authority, reputation and diversify customer engagement and acquisition strategies. This is still the best way to increase visibility and increase search rankings.
Taking the first steps into digital marketing can be difficult, so don’t take them alone. Download a copy of our Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing to learn about online lead generation, SEO and content marketing.? Did we mention, it?s free?
Marketing Matters Inbound?is an inbound marketing firm specializing in online conversions, content?strategy, call-to-action mapping and traditional media placement. Our experience in?B2B digital?marketing?and?traditional media?allows us to deliver results through a strategic media mix. We believe in?aligning and merging marketing and sales/operations for optimal return on your marketing investment.