Are you one of those web owners that saw your local search rankings dip a few spots, dropped down a couple of pages OR completely disappear from the Google radar?
If you are already overwhelmed by the amount of information you had to digest in your frantic rush to search for answers, then consider this your last stop, where you will learn simple, easy to understand steps to remedy your local search ranking mishap.
As a web owner and a businessman what you need to FIRST understand is not let Google or any other tech guru, industry expert scare you with words like “Google Algorithm Updates”. Let Google and the experts worry about the technical part of what an algorithm is, what is IMPORTANT for you to understand is that how these updates impact your local search rankings and your business.
Before getting in to the meat of what you need to learn and understand about the new update, let’s get some of the formalities out of the way:
When was the new algorithm launched?
July 25th 2014.
What is the objective of the algorithm?
To return better, relevant and intelligent “local search results”.
What was the name given to the new update?
Why the name pigeon?
Due to the bird’s remarkable ability to always find home.
When will the algorithm updates take place?
It has already taken place (unless you have not realized it on your own).
Which regions and what languages will be affected?
North America. English. We still don’t know when Google plan on expanding to other regions and to other languages. However, there are widespread instances that English based search rankings have already been affected everywhere.
What is the greatest advantage/benefit of the update?
Will allow small business owners to compete with the big guns with the big bucks for local search rankings.
Is this update a BIG! Deal?
YES! If you are depending on local search rankings (for cities, and zip codes), this will be your SEO bread and butter moving forward.
Is this another penalty based update like Panda and penguin?
NO! Just read on or watch the video tutorial below to learn how “simple” and how “important” this update will require from you (or your SEO service provider) to improve local search rankings and results
Link to Video
Google’s objective in programming the new pigeon update is to return better, relevant and intelligent local search results, that will use the data from businesses Google + local page to generate search results. The new update will rely very little on the keyword tags available on web pages to generate “local search results”.
Despite adding the proper keyword tags, in your web page, and adding the web site on Google + Local is no longer going to be sufficient. If a plumbing equipment supplier in Florida had accidentally included the address of their plumbing services store in California, and listed their business as a plumbing service provider, then the new pigeon algorithm may NOT list it under “plumbing equipment supplier, Florida” for anyone who searches for that keyword. This kind of erroneous business listing can do irreparable harm to the plumbing equipment supplier as they may never be found under the keyword “plumbing equipment suppliers in Florida”. Instead they will be listed under “plumbing services” in California. Your business name, address, phone number and the type of industry should be consistent on both your web page content and your Google + local page, if you are to be in compliance of Google’s new pigeon update. So, check your Google + local listings and make sure that you have attended to the below checklist.
7 Easy, “MUST-DO” Steps to Become Google Pigeon Compliant
1. If you have NOT set up a Google + local page, then you have to do this with immediate effect for your local business website to receive online visibility. Your FIRST step is to set up in Google’s local index. Then verify that you are the business owner of the listing. This usually involves Google sending you a postcard to your business address containing a pin number that you should enter with the listed phone number for the business.
2. Make sure that you DON’T have multiple Google + local accounts. If so make sure that you verify that you are the business owner and claim your business, and take control of the multiple listings and then have ONLY ONE active Google + local page with ALL your information. For every extra listing, go to that particular listing and click Report a Problem Link and select “place has another listing”. Google will review these and fix the issue.
3. Make sure that your business listing appear in the local results under the correct business category. If you are a plumbing equipment supplier in Fresno California, and your business is listed under “plumbing services” then you have no hope of appearing under important search quarries for those who are searching for plumbing equipment suppliers.
4. Using a phone number with a local area code as the primary business phone number for your Google + local is the BEST practice, to guarantee better search results and better search ranking for your website.
5. Your business name, address and phone number should be the same on your website and on your Google + local page. This needs to be consistent with all other 3rd party directories and business listings like yelp, yahoo, angies list, and on all social media channels. If your address has a suit number, then that information needs to be consistent throughout all your pages. For an example if your website has your address as:
2300, Marine Drive Suit 203, Denver, Colorado
and your Google + local page has it as:
2300, Marine Drive # 203, Denver, Colorado.
You need to make up your mind whether to use suit 203 OR # 203. This will have a negative impact on your local search results and on your SEO campaign, if NOT corrected.
6. Although the impact of positive reviews is still uncertain in boosting search listings and search rankings, it never hurts to have as many positive reviews. So have as many satisfied clients and customers leave you raving reviews about why they like doing business with you.
7. In addition to listing your city, add the state and the zip code to your title tags and descriptive tags on your web page, that is consistent with your Google + local account.
Another key element that Google may incorporate in to the pigeon algorithm update OR a separate future algorithm update is the dependency on website authority.
In its efforts to safeguard the original creative works of “online authors”, Google have strategized a scheme known as “Google Authorship”. The content you produce on your website, news articles, blogs, and FAQ pages and tying them to your Google+1 account through Google Authorship, will not only strengthen your local search rankings, it will also improve your Google Author Rank. This will ensure that your original work is NOT duplicated around the internet.
If you find that your competition is already started publishing its blogs, FAQ pages and company communication tied with Google Authorship… then your competition is PRIMED to enjoy better and increased future traffic through Google authorship. Tying your web material to your Google +1 account is a very simple process. Search this on Google OR talk to your web master as to how this can be done.
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