In one of the largest local algorithm updates in recent memory, Google fundamentally changed how local results are determined and displayed. The ‘Pigeon’ update, as it has been named by SEOs, was so impactful it broke the way many search engine analysts track the results of Google’s updates.
So what exactly did Pigeon do? According to SearchEngineLand, Pigeon included “hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search along with search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms and more” into the local results calculation.
Google’s aim here is to improve the user experience, and they seem to be doing that in part by making how local results are displayed more nuanced. Google also enhanced their distance and location ranking parameters, which should be a positive for most local businesses.
Another aspect of this update to be aware of is that local directory listings themselves will be much more likely to appear in Google results. So if your business is listed in Yelp or other popular directories, there is now a greater chance that your listing there as well your website will appear.