August 22, 2014
Google and their animals (or birds) lately. You might have already heard about Google Pigeon, or at least have seen the name floating around online. Just what is this update? Was it a web content update? Let’s take a look at just what pigeon is, how it will affect you, and just how you can start writing perfect content that Google Pigeon will adore (think breadcrumbs on a street).
Wait, What Is Google Pigeon?
It really does seem like Google is constantly releasing new algorithm updates, and it is starting to get quite confusing for many. We have Search Engine Land to thank for coining the name ‘pigeon’ for this fairly significant update which tailors local search results for consumers, making it easier for them to find something in their area.
While it is a local search update, it does actually count web content in the changes. This is because your web content needs to be location specific if you want to rank in local searches – makes sense, right?
How Is It Going To Affect You?
The update is mainly going to impact and affect your local search ranking. Link Assistant points out that unlike Penguin and Panda you will not receive penalties for your content, so you can relax on that score. It is, however, going to impact where your site appears in the SERPs when someone in your area is looking for a business that offers whatever you offer. For example, if you are a dog groomer in the Tulsa area, then someone searching for a dog groomer in Tulsa is more likely to find you.
How Should You Start Writing For Pigeon?
With these changes to local search rankings, you’re probably wondering just how to write for your web content and local listings.
1. Utilize Those Local Search Apps
The one thing that is definitely being boosted as a result of the Pigeon update is the ranking for companies that utilize local search apps; specifically Yelp. For awhile, Yelp had problems with how they were being represented in Google searches, but the Pigeon update rectified that.
2. Create Location Specific Content
This new update is all about location, location, location, which means you really need to boost or start working on that location specific content. Creating location specific content was crucial before Pigeon and it is even more vital now since it focuses so closely on local search results for Google users. If you haven’t already, you should start crafting some location specific material such as landing pages, to bring in those local search results. A few tips on getting the best results are to utilize long tail keywords and to have location specific landing pages.
3. Ask For Customer Reviews to Boost Your Local Reviews
Again, local search optimization is vital to this new update from Google, and one of the best ways to get noticed is to have customers review your shop on Yelp or other local apps. You can offer incentives to people when they come in and say, “If you rate our company on our Yelp account, you get an awesome free thing!” This could be a cinnamon roll if you are a bakery or a little gadget for other businesses. Just choose something fun that you know people will like! This can also help boost your review from the customers because they will be in a good mood after getting something awesome for free.
4. Have More Site Authority
As you’ve read multiple times in multiple blogs, site authority is important to ranking. In the Link Assistant article mentioned previously, the higher your site authority, the better your chance to rank in local Google searches. This is one of the great benefits of Pigeon, yet it can be detrimental to some sites with lower domain authority. Several ways to improve your domain authority is by getting rid of bad links, having a great SEO strategy in place, having excellent and likeable content, etc. Head on over to Quicksprout for an excellent guide on improving your domain authority. Remember, you really want to do this to rank well with Google Pigeon – so take some time to read over the guide and look at other industry resources.
5. Fill in The Gaps And Strengthen Those Profiles
It can be cumbersome to write in every little detail on your social media profiles, especially on G+ and the various local search applications available. Laziness, however, has its own pitfalls so fill in the gaps to strengthen your profiles by utilizing SEO, especially local search optimization.
Google Pigeon is really going to benefit a lot of local search results and can definitely help bring in more customers if you have updated your content for local search optimization. This is something that will benefit all involved, so take this opportunity to improve your content and local listings. You’ll be glad you did!
Julia McCoy is a top 30 content marketer and has been named an industry thought leader by several publications. She enjoys making the gray areas of content marketing clear with practical training, teaching, and systems. Her career in content marketing was completely self-taught. In 2011, she dropped out of college to follow her passion in writing, and since then grew her content agency, Express Writers, to thousands of worldwide clients from scratch. Julia is the author of two bestselling books on content marketing and copywriting, and is the host of The Write Podcast. Julia writes as a columnist on leading publications and certifies content strategists in her training course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia lives in Austin, Texas with her daughter, husband, and one fur baby.