Last night, Google pushed out a major local search algorithm update. The update has been pushed out to U.S. English based search results and seems to have had enough of a significant update that many SEOs, webmasters and local business owners have taken noticed. The update impacts both the organic local listings within Google Map Search and Google Web Search.
We are naming this algorithm update the Pigeon update, for more on that, see our post over here.
The algorithm is more tied into the traditional web search ranking signals, including search features from the knowledge graph, spelling corrections and other search features. Google also said there were relevancy improvements to distance and location ranking.
Google would not tell us how much of an impact this would have on local businesses but based on the early feedback we’ve seen in the comments at Search Engine Land, as well as other local search blogs – it seems there were significant ranking changes with this update.
Mike Blumenthal reports 7-local listing packs have dropped out, many real estate related searches have dropped out, while SEO and web design local packs are back after being dropped in 2009.
Matt McGee reported on Search Engine Land that this update has also fixed the Yelp problem with Google.
At the Search Engine Roundtable I covered how many SEOs and webmasters noticed significant changes in rankings. I shared some examples, including this one comparing a search for [ice cream] from earlier this week to today, clearly showing completely different organic local results.
Earlier this week:
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