On 24th July-2014 Google has rolled out a new update and Search Engine Land magazine has dubbed it as Pigeon update in search algorithm. No doubt, this latest update is not targeting websites of all nature by-and-large, but impacting on the traditional web search results of Google and results of Google Map. In one sense, if your e-commerce has a brick-and-mortar presence or you have integrated store locator features for your branches/franchises/affiliates/retail chain, you would be in win-win situations.
Google Has Tied Local Search with Standard Factors
Previously, local results had limited ranking factors other than local presence, thus lots of confusions were arising on the businesses side as well as for searchers that whether they are receiving the most relevant and quality results or the proximity of the stores is only the factor. In due course, Google has tied the local signals with the standard web ranking signals, which hundreds in numbers and analyze the relevancy of page, authority of page, etc. using web search features such as Knowledge Graph, language factors (spellings, grammar, synonyms, etc.), and back links at the top.
Tough Time for Local Businesses
Now, you have one thing clear in mind that only your local presence is not guarantee to get good ranking so you have to face stiff competitions from others too and should come up with strong white has SEO strategies and implementations. If you are listed as local business in local business directories such as Yelp, Yellowpages, TripAdvisor, OpenTable, etc., you have greater chances to win a good ranking as well as exposure to your target audience.
Technically, such prestigious local directory-style sites have good ranking and your links on them grant you good visibility as well as nifty link juice to your website. Reasons behind good visibility are their stronger signals for the generic and non-branded search terms such as ‘Restaurants in San Diego’ or ‘Women Apparel stores in Seattle’. Thus, you have extra benefits of local listing and exposure on such local directories as now Google will show listings of directories against their old practices of showing maps.
Ways To Combat
As per my personal views, we have three ways to meet these challenges of Pigeon:
- You have to do local SEO using local SEO optimization techniques on local content.
- You need to optimize the data of your website and other that are flowing into the local directories.
- The best and essential way is to optimize your business presence in Google+ using its Google pages or business listing services/Google Places.
For instance, if you incorporate store location add-on or extensions in your website and optimize it with appropriate local keywords through content. The chances of crawling increasing and you will get authority for your site for your local presence.
In order to do so, you have to provide detailed info of your store such as its name, address, land line+mobile phone numbers, create unique URL for your store locator page, integrate Map and map services, include the real time GPS data like hours, date, and direction providing services using access points, neighborhood served, etc. techniques.
Shoaib Marfatiya is an eminent writer in web development industry and its verticals. He has contributed a lot by throwing lights on very intricate issues of web and mobile development community.