Website Review: Google Pigeon Update Explained

What’s the Latest on the Google Pigeon Update? Here’s our Take for a Website Review

As a small or local based company trying to increase your online traffic, it can be quite frustrating to do a random internet search for your business type only to see many national and out of the area enterprises dominate the page one results on Google. And this can also be baffling for consumers as well.

Well, to help reduce this problem for both local businesses and consumers alike, Google has once again adjusted how their search results are generated with an eye toward increasing the visibility of companies that are actually geographically near those searching for that type of service. Google’s new search results update is called Pigeon, and understanding how it works can really help grow your online exposure.

How Search Results Appear

Before Google’s latest update took place in July 2014, what showed up for most search inquiries was primarily determined by a company’s online content. That meant someone in Seattle searching Google for luggage was as likely to see companies in Florida or California versus local retailers since the number of times the word “luggage” appeared on a company’s web page was more important than where they were actually located.

Knowing this, most businesses would conduct a website review of their online content and try to maximize the number of such business relevant keywords so that when consumers searched Google, their company would appear on page 1 regardless of where the potential customer lived.

The Pigeon update changes this by tying business search results primarily to your physical location rather than using the previous criteria of:

  • meta tags – web pages containing specific topic information
  • descriptions – pertaining to page layout and content
  • keyword tags – tied to the number of times a product type (e.g. luggage) appeared on a web page

So with that system, it really didn’t matter if a potential customer typed Seattle luggage into Google, the resulting list had more to do with what was on a website, not where the respective businesses were located.

Now Location Matters

The key to making the new Pigeon update work to show your business to local searchers ahead of geographically distant competitors rests on conducting a website review to ensure that your online company information is maximized to work with Google +.

The first step in this process is to make sure your business has a Google Plus account – which is free. This simply entails setting up your company in Google’s local index located at: www.Google.com/local

Once you’ve done this, then confirm that:Website Review Digital Marketing

  • You are the owner; Google will send you a PIN number to enter on your business’ Google Plus page to verify this
  • ensure you have only one account
  • that you are listed under the correct business category
  • that all your information at Google + and your web sites is consistent in content & format
  • list a local telephone number to guarantee you show-up on local maps for your business category

With all of these measures in-place, now when someone types Seattle luggage into Google, the Pigeon update sees that you are a local business selling this product, and it ensures that your company information will appear ahead of a similar enterprise in any other part of the country – regardless of how many times the industry specific keyword appears on their website.

Schedule a website review and inbound marketing assessment to make sure you’re properly set-up to leverage the new Google Pigeon search update to help improve your business. This will ensure your potential local customers find you faster and easier than the guys in Florida.



Marketing Matters Inbound is an inbound marketing firm specializing in online conversions, content strategy, PPC campaigns 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.



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