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Thread: Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility

  1. #1
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Exclamation Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility

    There have been lots of reports of reduced or missing local packs since Pigeon. Many have reported 7 packs, shrinking down to 3 packs and packs have totally gone missing for industries like Realtors and Divorce Attorneys in many markets.

    I was hoping a company with big data could quantify things for us and they have.
    BrightEdge did some analysis and I want to share it with you below.

    New Research on Impact of Google’s ‘Pigeon’ Update | BrightEdge Blog

    BrightEdge’s analysis found that Google is displaying local pack results for 11.26 percent fewer queries overall. BrightEdge Cube data also confirms that real estate queries experienced a dramatic decrease of 63.45 percent in their appearance rate in Google Places results.
    In a post over at Search Engine Watch today BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu breaks down some of the winners and losers of the Pigeon algo so far.

    How Google Pigeon Impacted Local Queries, and What You Can Do - SEW

    INCREASE in Local Packs:

    Hospitality (28 percent growth in Google Places results)
    Food (19 percent growth in the Google Places results)
    Education (13 percent growth in the Google Places results)
    Spa +4.64 percent
    Shop +4.32 percent
    Law +3.55 percent
    Medical +1.83 percent
    Transportation +1.31 percent
    Fitness +1.12 percent

    DECREASE in Local Packs:

    Real estate (63 percent decline in the Google Places results)
    Movies (36 percent decline in the Google Places results)
    Insurance (11 percent decline in the Google Places results
    Finance -6.21 percent
    Furniture -3.34 percent

    NOTE: Above is only partial data. Click over to BrightEdge to see the graph that lists everything.


    What kind of Pigeon impact have you seen in your markets?
    What do you think of these numbers? Any surprises???


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    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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    Scott Rawlins (09-03-2014)

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    Re: Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility

    This doesn't surprise me at all. I deal with a lot of clients in the insurance industry and the 11% decrease in local pack results is pretty much on par with what I have been dealing with over the past little while.
    3 packs seems to be the most common now with no pack results being a close second. It is very rare that I am seeing 7 packs anymore and when I do sometimes I will find that 1 or 2 of the results are from a neighbouring city. See the screenshot below.
    Name:  t.png
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    Re: Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility

    I'm inclined to believe that those "super categories" are still too super to be particularly helpful.

    I'm seeing a considerable reduction of local serps in one attorney client's niche.
    Trying to get stuff done for clients.
    Find me on Google+.

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    Re: Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility

    Thanks Nikki!

    I know you guys work with lots of insurance agents, but didn't realize that industry got hit until I read that research. That stinks.

    I'm also seeing what you show where many packs have listings from 2 - 3 surrounding cities.

    Everyone keeps citing Blumenthal and others saying that one of the Pigeon ramifications is a tighter search radius but I'm seeing just the opposite.

    @Bill yesterday when I checked "Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney" the pack was gone with FF. But today it's back.

    I think I heard divorce attorney packs were largely gone at one point. Not sure if that's still the case.
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    Re: Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility

    @Linda - In terms of search radius here is what I have been seeing:

    Tighter search radius for branded searches. Sometimes it will zoom right in to less than a 5 mile radius and only a 1-3 pack.

    For more generic searches, like auto insurance for example, the search radius will be huge sometimes including neighbouring towns/cities.

    Sometimes there will even be a listing in the pack that is very obviously outside of the centroid (and city) and my client who is located right in the centroid is not ranking.
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    Colan Nielsen (09-03-2014)

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility

    Thanks for the insights Nikki!

    You reminded me I've also been hearing about branded searches being too tight or not showing the locations right inside the search radius, but showing others farther away.

    Methinks this Pigeon is lost and needs some more training before it comes home to roost!
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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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    Colan Nielsen (09-03-2014)

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    Nikki Brown's Avatar
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    Re: Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility

    That's interesting. I haven't noticed that but I also haven't been looking for it. I will keep that in mind over the next few days and let you know if that's something I'm seeing.

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    Re: Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikki Brown View Post
    @Linda - In terms of search radius here is what I have been seeing:

    Tighter search radius for branded searches. Sometimes it will zoom right in to less than a 5 mile radius and only a 1-3 pack.

    For more generic searches, like auto insurance for example, the search radius will be huge sometimes including neighbouring towns/cities.

    Sometimes there will even be a listing in the pack that is very obviously outside of the centroid (and city) and my client who is located right in the centroid is not ranking.
    I'm also seeing a lot of weight to big chains with lots of storefronts in the more generic searches (according to Google now, Enterprise is the only place when you search for used cars) and the branded searches (in the auto search world) seem to follow the tighter radius examples.
    -----
    CDK Global SEO Specialist & Local Listings Guru

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    Linda Buquet (09-04-2014)

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    Re: Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility

    I work in the legal world, and the amount of flux is crazy. I've seen our map links come and go on a daily basis. Been tracking since it happened.

    Pre-Pigeon our map links have stayed constant for almost 3 years, now major flux. Some days we go missing, sometimes we show up again but in a different position.

    Many 7 packs are now 3 packs, even a 1 pack has been seen!

    Name:  maplinks.jpg
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    Also seen many small local law firms be taken out by the large directories now being favored. for one term 7 out of 10 were big directories, the only sites that were in - are domains that are over 13 years old. So maybe it's domain age being filtered through.
    Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility-directories.jpg
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    billbean (09-05-2014)

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Hard Research: Pigeon's Impact on Local Search Visibility

    Howell, thanks so much for sharing and WELCOME!

    Did you see this post? Accounts for the flux.

    Pigeon Analysis - New Insights about this Crazy Google Local Algo & the Constant Flux

    And this one where I do screen shot tracking over time:
    Tracking Google Local Pigeon Flux Over Time
    Is Our Content HELPFUL? Please pay the community back by sharing!

    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

    Consulting, Troubleshooting & White Label Services for SEOs & Agencies

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! SUBSCRIBE to Daily Email Digest Here

    Are you a PRO? Join the "Local Search Pros" G+ Community!

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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