Similar to the previous updates, Penguin and Panda, Google has introduced another update and named it after animal –Pigeon. It was rolled out on 24th July, 2013 and affected the US English results. However, it is unlike to previous updates as it does not penalize sites.


It is focused to provide the accurate and most relevant results to the users who are searching something in their locality. That is why, it has mainly affected the Google local listings of the small businesses that are competing with bigger companies or businesses in their field.

According to different SEOs and Webmasters, it has affected the local listing and website ranking in Search Engine Results Page (SERP) about 20%. Therefore, there is no second thought that it is a big update for small business owners.

Following are the factors that would help you understand how Pigeon affects a website ranking and how it can be overcome.

  • Local Pack:

Google has introduced ‘Local Pack’ in which it has arranged the listing of 7 businesses according to the number of queries generated for each of them in Google Search. The one having the high queries is listed above as compared to others.

So, if you have observed a significant drop in your daily visits, then your site has been affected by this update. However, you can boast your ranking and retain your position in Google local listings by running Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign of your business for a while.

  • Website Authority:

One more factor that has played a vital role in affecting the SERP with Pigeon is the domain or website authority. A local business is more likely to be ranked higher and receive more traffic which has high domain authority, more quality backlinks and other SEO factors.

Therefore, as a small business owner, you have to determine all SEO factors of your website and find where your website is lacking and overcome that weak part of your website. Or, you can simply higher a local SEO to do it for you to retain your ranking in local listing.

  • Business Directories:

Business Directories, such as Yelp, are reported to get a significant increment in traffic and so the websites listed on them. So, if your website is getting lesser traffic, then you must think about listing your business in all of the credible business directories.

  • Local Carousel:

Unlike to local listing pack, local carousel remains intact with Pigeon which means you still have an option to give your business some exposure. Therefore, you are suggested to put a nice, attractive and high-quality picture in your Google+ business profile and encourage your consumers to give feedback about your business.