Google has a ‘Pigeon’ for Maps….

A few days ago Google rolled out the unnamed local search update which is considered to be one of their largest changes for many years. It’s been dubbed ‘Pigeon’ by leading industry figures within search and is a logical follow-on from the Google Hummingbird update not so long ago.

So, what do marketers need to know about these latest changes? The changes will only be for those using US English search but will be visible for both Google Web and Google Map users, they’ll include:

1. A search box will now appear within maps and the main results when a search term returns local search results. Thus, these changes are only for searches including a location name or implied by the type of product.
2. Changes in GPS services, location detection will be more accurate.
3. When results are returned more data from Google’s knowledge graph, reviews, citations, mentions and local directories will be used.
4. Yelp local listings are more dominant than before, when the term ‘Yelp’ is included in the search it will feature above Google’s own local listings.

Here’s a good example:

There are many aspects to this latest algorithm which are still unclear, there’s no comment from Google as to the number of searches that will be effected by this update. Nor do we know whether these changes will be rolled out to other countries or languages. Search experts believe it to be more of a ‘housekeeping’ exercise to help Google clean up internally.

Overall, although we don’t know a huge about this new update, it’s definitely one to keep an eye out for.

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