Recently, a major change was observed in how people search for local businesses. For the first time in recorded history, there are more people using the Internet to search instead of asking friends or through word of mouth.
Because the majority of people are now using online sources, focusing on your online presence is incredibly important.
So, what is there to focus on?
Well, since the majority of people search for local businesses through Google, why not start there?
Google uses a complex mathematical formula, or algorithm to help determine what local places are ranked. People normally click on the top links. Let us take a moment to understand Google’s algorithm so that you can help give your company a better ranking.
Google uses a special algorithm called the “Pigeon” for local places. This algorithm is responsible for updating what choices come up when you are searching locally. For example, if type “Chinese food” into a search, local places will come up. Pigeon changes how the ranking is made. In addition, it effects what responses people get in both Google Search and Google Maps. These are two common ways that potential customers will look for you.
Benefiting From The Pigeon
There are ways that you can use Pigeon to increase your local ranking. An important thing to know is that Pigeon relies on older page ranking metrics, like visit count and links. If you spend time bringing more people to your website, then you can benefit directly when they click through.
There are a number of websites that rank local businesses. Pigeon takes these rankings and brings them to the forefront. One way that you can make a positive image for your business is to increase the number of positive reviews. Ask customers to post and benefit from that information being shared with potential customers.
Watch Out For The Pigeon!
There are several things you should watch out for with Pigeon. The first are certain terms. When these terms come up, Pigeon down ranks your website. Lists of these terms are easy to find online. One common example of a word/phrase is anything that has the word “commercial” before it (like commercial roofer, etc.)
Also, Pigeon will give you less of a ranking if there are few local citations and numerous citations from outside the local area. Finally, as Pigeon is constantly changing, so to will your ranking. It is not uncommon for people to see their ranking suddenly change after the Pigeon algorithm is changed.