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Google Pigeon to reshape local listings

Google layoutOn July 24, Google released a new algorithm, nicknamed Pigeon by Search Engine Land (SEL), which alters the way local search results are generated in Google Maps and Google Web. The Pigeon update is designed to make the local search results more accurate and relevant.

Google told SEL that the new algorithm relies more heavily on their hundreds of traditional web search ranking signals. It also draws on features like spelling correction, synonyms and Knowledge Graph. This change will make local search results align more closely with organic search rankings.
The algorithm is also designed to improve distance and location ranking parameters.

Currently, the algorithm affects only U.S. English results. Google has not confirmed whether or not Pigeon will be introduced in other countries or languages.

The Pigeon algorithm is still new, and it will take some time to get a feel for its full implications, especially since it’s possible that Google is still smoothing (more…)

Where did the map go?

mobile search for lawyersGoogle released an update to its local search engine algorithm, dubbed the Pigeon update by Search Engine Land (SEL). The update was complex, including a number of changes designed to improve the relevancy and accuracy of local search results.

The biggest impact of Google’s Pigeon algorithm update has been seen in the local “7-pack” results, the groups of two to seven pinned, local results that appear on some local queries. It has also impacted Carousel, the scrolling list of local establishments that appears with some searches.

Since the implementation of Pigeon on July 24, the number of search queries that produce local 7-pack results has decreased significantly. According to a recent Moz report, local 7-pack results have decreased by 23.4% since the update. It should be noted that while the cumulative effect was a decrease, certain query results have actually gained pack results.

Among the terms that have lost pack results are (more…)

Google Author Removes Your Picture, Retains Author Credit

profile picturesThose photos of you and your staff that once displayed next to your search engine listings has been removed. Google has removed everyone’s pictures with the author still retaining credit for their work, although some author photos may still appear on Google+ based on relevancy and level of interaction with others.

This move caught many lawyers by surprise as no one foresaw Google completely removing pictures from their Google Authorship program. There had been indications prior to the June 2014 announcement that Google was revisiting their position on author photos and how they affected content quality. At one time, author photos appeared in approximately 21 percent of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This change has dramatically affected the visual impact on SERPs but there is no data to suggest it has reduced click-through-rates.

When Google Authorship was first introduced in 2011, the intention was to “highlight authors and rank search results.” Over (more…)