One thing we know for sure in the world of SEO is that change is the only constant. Last week, Google made yet another algorithm change, this time targeting the location-specific search results.
And, yes, this one was also named after an animal. We would like to introduce you to “Pigeon!” (We’re not in charge of the names here. Promise.)
A Focus on Relevancy & Accuracy of Local Results
This recent update focuses primarily on the accuracy of the local results Google provides to searchers.
The algorithm seems to have improved Google’s ability to identify a user’s location and provide more specific, accurate results. It also added more traditional search ranking signals like those used in non-local search results, like correcting a user’s spelling, acknowledging synonyms, and more.
Some experts are beginning to notice that large local directories, such as Yelp, appear higher and more frequently in search results. It seems Google may have given these directories a bit more authority in this process.
To respond to the change, we recommend you claim (and complete!) your local listings with tools such as Google My Business. You probably want to claim and build your Yelp listing as well.
And monitor your traffic. When Google makes any algorithm shift, you may notice a change in your traffic. Many webmasters are reporting differences in search queries they regularly track.
Also check out shifts in your search engine position. At Geonetric, we rely on tools such as Moz to monitor shifts in search engine rankings. Moz also does a nice job of reporting on localized search results.