When defining your SEO strategy is essential to know exactly if raking best in the local search results is something that your business needs. Because you will need to tune your entire strategy accordingly, starting with your landing pages: localized title page, meta tags, URL structure and on page localized content including opening hours, address, phone numbers, etc.
Local ranking and how it’s done
As in any other SEO tactic, optimizing for local search results starts with your clients and what they need. In this case, they need you to show them, as easiest as possible, where you are, when you are open for business, how to get there and what do they find in that specific location as services and products.
If you have done your job right, than you are already mastering the listing management side, you push your data intro aggregators and directories at least once a month with accurate and complete business data, you watch like a hawk consistency across search engines and get rid of duplicates and errors. Because day-by-day persistency is required to succeed in local raking.
Pigeon in sight
And after all that effort, the very quiet and little known Pigeon comes along, without even an official name from Google, but apparently with a lot to say. According to Google, there is nothing to worry about as usual. Pigeon is another step in improving user experience. But effects seem important enough to take into consideration.
Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/34804353@N02/
The local carousel results remain apparently untouched by the new algorithm. But most of the 7-pack results have registered loses. Moz data shows for a variety of search queries, a decline of up to 60%. Pigeon seems to take the side of directories which have begun to appear between the first results and to value a little more the local aspect, showing local businesses, even if unknown, on a better position than well branded business that are somewhere around the area.
The update includes taking advantage of the location profiles create in Google+, so don’t neglect yours and if it’s too general, get in there and refine it to a local market. For now the update seems to affect only U.S. searches made in English, but it is probably just an early phase testing the results.
For now, the new update seems to wear a white hat for the small businesses and directories serving a certain area. It still changes some things, but for now this is all that has been noticed. The strategy stays the same, the focus is on quality listing management and ensuring accurate information for users.