Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Linda Buquet

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A big algo update just hit and I'll still investigating, but wanted to stop and share the news.

<a href="http://searchengineland.com/google-makes-significant-changes-local-search-ranking-algorithm-197778">Google Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signals</a> (Just a snippet - so click the link to read full post.)

Google has released a new algorithm to provide a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. The changes will be visible within the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results.

The core changes are behind the scenes, but it does impact local search results rankings and some local businesses may notice an increase or decrease in web site referrals, leads and business from the change.

Google told us that the new local search algorithm ties deeper into their web search capabilities, including the hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search along with search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms and more.

In addition, Google said that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters.
Head over to read the rest!

Here is the comment I just posted at Search Engine Land:

"I'm analyzing now. All the local packs I track for SEO research purposes, have had big shuffles.

One market I keep a close eye on, the spammiest listing that WAS locked out of the pack previously, is now in the A spot, which leaves me wondering if this is going to end up being an update that's good for the average honest business.

I keep screenshots of the entire pack in certain markets as well as the search map radius, so I'll try to do some comparisons when I get time."


The search result I was talking about is a listing I've talked about before.
"Seattle Chiropractor". Some of the listings that were previously penalized out of the pack are now back in and the listing in the A spot is the spammiest. It was #1 organic but locked out of the pack til now.

Every pack I track has had a major shake up. Too soon to say if this looks like a good update that will reward honest businesses or not.

Off to do more research. Will keep my ear to the ground and let you know what I discover or learn as I go along.

What are you seeing ???

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Linda Buquet

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Working on before/after comparisons now.

Will have 1st set of screenshots and a mini analysis soon.
 

camcamcz

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Yup, knocked me off the places listing and now my competitor has double listings in the "3" pack. Not cool.
 

Linda Buquet

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Bummer, so sorry to hear!

Screenshots and a little analysis coming right now.
 

Linda Buquet

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Seattle Chiropractor is a market I watch that has a few spammy listings and some occasional black hat moves happening.

HERE IS THE BEFORE AND AFTER



The results above have stayed steady like that for the past 2 months or so. I check it daily plus get automated screenshots of any movement in the pack.


Then here is the screenshot I just took tonight with the changes.


Here is the super spammy listing that was just awarded the A spot!

https://plus.google.com/117282003257983155227/about?hl=en

Have you ever seen a spammier description on a professional listing?

Category violations too!


Wellness Program, Massage Therapist, Chiropractor, Sports Medicine Clinic, Sports Massage Therapist, Pain Control Clinic, Physical Therapy Clinic, Holistic Medicine Practitioner, Wellness Center, Chiropractor, Wellness Program, Wellness Center, Massage Therapist, Seattle Chiropractor, Pain Management Physician, Seattle Nutritionist, Seattle Wellness Program, Pain Management Clinic, Nutritional Counseling, Chiropractors Dc

Awarded the A spot? Nice one Google!

=================================


Update 7/25 Algo still in flux!




Also Devine had 2 listings in the pack yesterday, now both are gone.

==================================

Update 7/26

Checked Seattle Chiro results again today and they were TOTALLY different again.

Checked location settings and decided to GEO to Seattle for accuracy and double check. (But in the past that didn't matter.)

Then results changed again and are same as 7/24 right after the update.

IMPORTANT TAKEAWAY... In the past if I searched Seattle Chiropractor, as long as city was in the query I'd get the same results, no matter where my search location was set. In other words, location would be set to LA or Dallas, did not matter. I'd change location to Seattle and rankings would still be exactly the same. It would usually have no affect.

Now search location settings appear to have a dramatic affect. I can see wildly different SERPs by changing the city. So it appears location settings have to be set right to get an accurate reading.

So I'm thinking that 7/25 result was so different because I maybe didn't set to Seattle. Again, in the past it did not really seem to matter where I had location set to.

==================================

Update 7/27


The 2 Divines are gone so others moved up and there was a little big of shuffle in rank order.

==================================

Update 7/30


Sorry I missed a couple days. Lots of shifts again.

That spammy A spot - Seattlefamily is gone. YAY! (But it's been jumping in a out of the A spot for several months. It's like a spam algo gets stronger, then relaxes.)

The others moved around some.

I've been watching this pack for 3 years straight and have never seen Wallingford in the pack. Just a quick peek, but I'd call their site slightly over-optimized. At least the title looks KW stuffed to me.


==================================

Update 7/31


More big changes today. I think she's just stirring the pot!

SeattleFamily with the spammy description - back in the A spot.

Eastlake back in, instead of the Dr Kamell listing.

And Seattle Physical Medicine is another new one I've not seen in the pack before.

==================================

Update 8/7

<img src="http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/SeattleChiro8.71.jpg" alt="SeattleChiro8.7" width="65%" />​

Yet more major changes, but it's looking better to me just because spammy SeattleFamily is out of the A spot.

Since the last screenshot I took a week ago, Devine and Ballard are gone too.

Fremont took the top spot and like I said before, for about a year they were #1, but they dropped out for several months.

Seattle Physical Medicine, who like I said had never been in the pack before, really moved up. Might be worth checking out what they are doing. Just took a quick peek but they have Seattle 3 times in home title tag. Repeating any KW that many times is not usually not a good thing and it a spam signal I believe. Plus they have very little content on home page. Both sort of fly in the face of what we think Google likes.

C & G are both Dr listings that replaced the main practice listing, so that's not good. Might be worth checking citations on those 2 or other signals, to see why G is favoring the Drs over the main listing.

Graham - new to the pack since this update. Just checked G+ L listing may not even be claimed (no description or images or cats). BUT it has "Seattle Chiropractor" tacked onto the name, which is a violation BUT also may be helping ranking.

(NOTE: Not doing a deep dive on all these... just quick observations.)

==================================

Update 8/7 5 HOURS LATER!

<img src="http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/SeattleChiro8.7latersameday.jpg" alt="SeattleChiro8.7latersameday" width="65%"/>​

Seattle Physical Med out, Divine back in. Eastlake instead of Dr Kamel, Belltown instead of Dr. Mindel

I've never seen SERPs change so much like this before.
 

MikelZaremba

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Dui lawyers no longer trigger a pack. Restaurant catagory had a huge mix-up, two clients kicked completely out, most top ranking restaurants don't even have a claimed page. Sweet.

---------- Post Merged at 08:36 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 08:35 PM ----------

Also this wAs performed on mobile cause I just got the news. Checking more in a little bit.
 

Linda Buquet

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Thanks Mike,

Just saw something fly by about Realtors no longer pulling a pack. But have not confirmed and don't know what market that was.

Just checked now real quick. San Diego Realtor and real estate agent and agency.
No dice. No pack!
 

camcamcz

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

I also noticed that a lot of results has the first organic listing separated by a line followed by the local pack then followed by the rest of the organic listings.
 

Ben Bowen

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

The couple of packs that matter to me have changed significantly. Both are much better representations of the actual market. The right companies are there, for the most part.

One big change- a company from Beaverton, OR is ranking for "Portland [Keyword]. This guy has always been really strong organically but has never shown in the pack.
 

iFuse

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Linda & all, not sure if you remember a previous post I made asking about why a screwy local result was happening, Only 3 Google+ Local Listings Showing - Why?


Well, it would seem that this change may have fixed that! One for the "pro" side of the change!
 

iFuse

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Not sure this has anything to do with anything, perhaps I just never noticed this but look at this screen shot for the SERP query of "keller lowry reviews" which is a well known insurance company here. Check out what I highlighted, the text under their listing says Missing: reviews with reviews struck out......have any of you seen this before?

 

Linda Buquet

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Not sure this has anything to do with anything, perhaps I just never noticed this but look at this screen shot for the SERP query of "keller lowry reviews" which is a well known insurance company here. Check out what I highlighted, the text under their listing says Missing: reviews with reviews struck out......have any of you seen this before?
I set my location to Denver and see that exact result but not the review part.

Did you review them once then delete your review or something?
 

iFuse

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

I set my location to Denver and see that exact result but not the review part.

Did you review them once then delete your review or something?
Very strange, no have not reviewed them and not even logged into my G account. When I change my location to anywhere but Denver it goes away but comes right back when I switch back to Denver. Same for 3 different browsers with cleared cache.

And check this out, it is not just on their local listing but a regular organic listing as well:

 

Linda Buquet

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Chesapeake dentist used to always be a 7 pack. Now it's a 3 pack.

Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist dropped from being a 7 pack to a 3 pack.

Los Angeles personal injury attorney - major shake up.

Indianapolis plumber - pretty big shuffle.

personal trainer Scottsdale all moved around. You can see previous rankings Joy listed in this post.
 

OmegaMan

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Holy Cow

I just dropped from A to D in the LOCKSMITH NICHE here in Chicago


What I'm seeing is more legit business on there not to spammy with scammers

---------- Post Merged at 01:35 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 01:22 AM ----------

TOP 3 of new listings are using YEXT
 

Colan Nielsen

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Chris, I have seen the slashed out word before. I think its telling you that the search result doesn't have the word "reviews" in it even though you had it in your query.
 
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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

WOW! I can't tell you how excited I am to see the pack results this morning. We have had 5 clients that we have struggled to get back into the pack after name changes and changes of address and they are all sitting happy at #1-#3....Crossing fingers this stays!
 

billbean

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

Chris, I have seen the slashed out word before. I think its telling you that the search result doesn't have the word "reviews" in it even though you had it in your query.
Colan, i think you're right about the missing reviews thing. I just tried it and noticed the same thing in the snippet for the #2 result in the SERP, which was an internal page on the client's site (ie no G+ page connection)
 

camcamcz

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re: Major Google Local Algo Update - Google "Pigeon" Update Shakes it Up!

This might be a stupid question and I apologies in advance but how do you change your location when doing a search?
 

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