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The latest Google update has been dubbed “Pigeon” because, as far as they can tell, this New Google Search Algorithm Update Targets Local Search Queries. Eric Sornoso of Search Engine Journal has put together all that can be found so far on the update, and over at Search Engine Land they decided to call it “Pigeon”, which does fit in well with the previous Google updates called Panda, Hummingbird, and Penguin.

Why Pigeon? Pigeons tend to fly in local patterns, and this seems to be only impacting local search queries in the United States that are made in English. It also looks like preference is given to local businesses instead of brands, even if it’s a franchise. To quote Search Engine Journal:

 “For example, someone looking for pizza restaurants in Boise will now see a Google SERP that truly lists local restaurants, and the quality of the search experience is enhanced when the searcher clicks on Google Maps. Before Pigeon, there was a strong chance that searching for pizza restaurants in Boise will return listings for major brands such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut towards the top of the SERP. In the post-Pigeon era, search results that are authoritatively local will be more prominently featured on the SERP, and they will be enhanced with relevant content. Pizza restaurants in Boise that have a verified presence on Google’s own social network, Google Plus (G+), will benefit from having their menus, reviews, and photographs shown on the SERP. To this end, local business owners will definitely want to ensure that they are doing their share of content marketing and social media engagement on G+.”

Every time there’s an update in an algorithm on a search engine it affects SERP and SEO. It’s important to be aware and to be ready to adapt in order to be found by your customers when they search for the products or services you offer. For more on SEO, visit http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/search-engine-optimization.php.

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