Linda Buquet

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I've been analyzing this algo a lot over the weekend and reading lots of posts.

I hereby proclaim this update a bunch of Pigeon Crap!

I have a big post about it coming out tomorrow, but in the meantime here are some G+ Posts for your reading DISpleasure...

<a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/101037504613481726969/posts/6ohgLHEUHiB">I call it Google Local Pigeon Crap</a> - I'll have more on this particular SERP tomorrow. Reported to Google. Lots of issues.

<a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/+GyiTsakalakis1/albums/6042359242731072657/6042359241341454162?cfem=1&pid=6042359241341454162&oid=117235644077949816393">SERP comparison - Query: los angeles personal injury lawyer</a> - More discussion about the same bad SERPs that the 1st link references.

<a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/101037504613481726969/posts/jFJFUmsrEkB">More Pigeon Droppings in the Local Search Results</a> - This one is all about Insurance SERPs Colan and Joy.

Sorry to be so negative - but this update just makes me grumpy!

And I don't have any skin in this game since I don't have clients any more. So I'm not saying boo hoo, my client is great and should not have dropped.

I'm analyzing this from a holistic quality viewpoint. As you'll see in tomorrow's post, these results do not serve users well, much less honest businesses that are trying to play by the rules - these results are too often elevating spammers and scammers.
 

Linda Buquet

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Mike has done a lot of great Pigeon posts and I have not done a great job of listing them all here. This is his latest, with more important observations:

<a href="http://blumenthals.com/blog/2014/08/03/pigeon-an-anecdotal-impact-report/">Pigeon – An Anecdotal Impact Report | Understanding Google Places & Local Search</a>
 
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Thanks Linda. yeah. We did have a few clients tank after the update. In every case old listings we had marked closed 1-3 years ago popped back up. These have always been practices that traditionally have always ranked well. I'm waiting for all the bliss I was feeling last week to fall like Pigeon Crap. Crossing my fingers things hold.
 

Linda Buquet

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2 new authoritative posts:

<a href="http://searchengineland.com/picking-googles-pigeon-droppings-198540">Picking Through Google's Pigeon Droppings...</a>

<a href="http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2358732/Is-Googles-New-Local-Algorithm-Pigeon-for-the-Birds">Is Google's New Local Algorithm 'Pigeon' for the Birds? - SEW</a>

If you check my G+ stream right now it's FILLED with Pigeon crap posts.

Google reads my stream. You think they are starting to get the message that this is a bad update,
the industry hates it and it does not benefit businesses OR users??? :(

Wait til you see the examples in my big post tomorrow.
 

Tammy Wood

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Hello all,
Yes, it's pigeon poop at it's worse! One benefit to the niches I keep an eye on is that the organic listings are increasing substantially. Where previously, you would often not show up in both Local AND Organically - now, those I've been monitoring their organic is improved.

While this hasn't done much for the small business owner who doesn't 'get' the difference, it can have an impact on traffic. I haven't verified this yet.

Another option I looked into ( without too much technical jargon) is the site load time. IF this is garnered more to reflect mobile searches, is this a larger factor than before? We know it's a 'signal' for organic rankings, often over looked by local signals. And finally in my SEO down the rabbit hole thought process, could server location ( vs. cloud) have anything to do with it?

The timing I find odd as it coincides with Google removing the real name policy that it's held so strictly since the introduction of G+. Just a bit further into the speculation zone, if this is tied to the hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search are they bringing back page rank as a deciding factor and are they intending on actually updating it? The last one was in December- so not sure that is a factor tied with pigeon ( but could it be coming).
 

JoshuaMackens

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I've also seen listings that were ranking outside of the city revert back to city-only in the 7 pack, just to corroborate.

It also looks like listings may have gone back to a pre-pigeon state for us. Pretty much every SERP I track has gone back.

Has anyone else seen this?
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Tammy and welcome again!


It also looks like listings may have gone back to a pre-pigeon state for us. Pretty much every SERP I track has gone back.

Has anyone else seen this?

Thanks Joshua. That's encouraging to hear but I'm not seeing it. All the SERPs I've been watching are still pigeon. I mean it changes every day still but still spammy packs and none have reverted back that I've seen yet.

But it would not surprise me if they roll this one back. It's just bad news!
 

Linda Buquet

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Update from MarketingLand, sister site of Search Engine Land.

<a href="http://marketingland.com/google-pigeon-fluctuations-wont-detail-changes-future-94308">Google On Pigeon Fluctuations: We Won't Detail All Changes In The Future</a>

We asked Google if Google made a small update to their local search algorithm, we named Pigeon, but Google would not confirm or deny the change. Google did tell us that they ?don?t have a specific update to announce here.? Google added ?we probably won?t detail all the changes to local search algorithms as we go.?

I doubt we will hear from Google about new local search algorithm updates in the future based on this last statement.
 

standenman

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I am an attorney who tracks my listing (Linda can attest) very closely. I have a set of 12 keyword phrases that are critical to my inbound. Previously all 12 phrases generated the map pack. now about 1/2 do not. I featured high in the map pack as I had worked hard to generate client reviews. My call volume has now gone way down. Google is a fickled mistress.
 

Tammy Wood

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I am an attorney who tracks my listing (Linda can attest) very closely. I have a set of 12 keyword phrases that are critical to my inbound. Previously all 12 phrases generated the map pack. now about 1/2 do not. I featured high in the map pack as I had worked hard to generate client reviews. My call volume has now gone way down. Google is a fickled mistress.

And we love her for it!
1. Is there any correlation between the lost listings and the remaining ones?
  • Same keywords within both
  • Different versions of the same word?
  • Plural versions?
2. Are you tracking the traffic? Is the traffic truly down? Or are you just assuming?
3. Organic listings up for any keywords ( not map but Organic?)
4. Long tail or short tail keywords - can you tell?

To answer the post above ( forgive me I'm new), NO I haven't seen bounce backs, I'm with Linda on that response, I haven't seen any return to the original glory.
 

standenman

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I've got a Punnett square combining the singular and plural of "attorney(s)" "lawyer(s)" with "disability", "social security", and "social security disability". Actually only the four sets for "social security" show the map pack. I must confess that my feeling call volume is down is primarily anecdotal. Actually looking at "Insights" in "My Business" I see peak traffic on 7/28 (just after the rollout?) for the past 30 days. (Over 90 days my insights chart looks like an extreme roller coast: highs of near 800 a day to 70 a day! Go figure. Just hate that my listing looked good in the map pack (positive reviews) and does not show as much now.
 

Louis Nava

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I've also seen listings that were ranking outside of the city revert back to city-only in the 7 pack, just to corroborate.

It also looks like listings may have gone back to a pre-pigeon state for us. Pretty much every SERP I track has gone back.

Has anyone else seen this?

I'm still seeing pigeon serps as well. But just today I am seeing many of the SERPs coming back with little or no ads. This is major when it comes to specialty businesses.

Also, I am seeing Realtors having 3 packs for Agency branded search queries where it lists 3 agent pages.
 

cdawg2610

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Now that Google has seemed to work out some of my geographic issues and put the SERP back like it should, I'm going out on a limb and say that for the most part, Pigeon seems to like me. *knock on wood* I'm seeing a lot more of my dealers in the 3/7 pack, and more importantly, with the neighborhood terms, we're seeing the 3 pack with people that should actually be there.

The one spammy set right now is the "used cars" 7 pack for most big cities - seriously, Enterprise must be throwing a party as they now show up in every city I checked. But it's always been a spammy SERP, just a new set of junk in it.
 
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Now that Google has seemed to work out some of my geographic issues and put the SERP back like it should, I'm going out on a limb and say that for the most part, Pigeon seems to like me. *knock on wood* I'm seeing a lot more of my dealers in the 3/7 pack, and more importantly, with the neighborhood terms, we're seeing the 3 pack with people that should actually be there.

The one spammy set right now is the "used cars" 7 pack for most big cities - seriously, Enterprise must be throwing a party as they now show up in every city I checked. But it's always been a spammy SERP, just a new set of junk in it.

Very weird. Before the update, we would see the franchise dealers spammed across local SERP for "used cars" or "used car dealer" city. When the update came out a week 1/2 ago, it seemed that "used cars" now showed actual Used Car dealers, which is a sign of better relevance.

Now it's back to its original form. Map packs barely show up under "used cars" but anything that can be determined as a physical business "used car DEALER" the map pack is intact.
 

Tammy Wood

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I've got a Punnett square combining the singular and plural of "attorney(s)" "lawyer(s)" with "disability", "social security", and "social security disability". Actually only the four sets for "social security" show the map pack. I must confess that my feeling call volume is down is primarily anecdotal. Actually looking at "Insights" in "My Business" I see peak traffic on 7/28 (just after the rollout?) for the past 30 days. (Over 90 days my insights chart looks like an extreme roller coast: highs of near 800 a day to 70 a day! Go figure. Just hate that my listing looked good in the map pack (positive reviews) and does not show as much now.

I believe it's a category shake up Google wide, not just you. Pigeon seems to have targeted attorneys, specifically personal injury attorneys.

Next, with this change we are assuming that it is reverting to the LSI, which is the overall 'theme' of the site, so check your website for organic on page optimization. Is the overall theme in your content "Social Security" or that you are an attorney?

Review your content to ensure that your site is well optimized for the category of attorney ( not just specific services).

Review your site architecture/ structure of navigation are you leading consumers to the best content overall- again, not just specific services.

With this change ( while we hate it), it does open the opportunity to review the main website(s) with an eye towards organic rankings ( as well as local).

Let me know what you find out!
 
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cdawg2610

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Very weird. Before the update, we would see the franchise dealers spammed across local SERP for "used cars" or "used car dealer" city. When the update came out a week 1/2 ago, it seemed that "used cars" now showed actual Used Car dealers, which is a sign of better relevance.

Now it's back to its original form. Map packs barely show up under "used cars" but anything that can be determined as a physical business "used car DEALER" the map pack is intact.

Yup it seems to be back to the pre-pigeon for some locations - but then again the Edmonds corporate offices make the 7 pack for "used cars" in Los Angeles, so I tend to just throw my hands up at the SERP. Overall the update is a net win for my dealers *knock on wood again*
 
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Yup it seems to be back to the pre-pigeon for some locations - but then again the Edmonds corporate offices make the 7 pack for "used cars" in Los Angeles, so I tend to just throw my hands up at the SERP. Overall the update is a net win for my dealers *knock on wood again*

That's awesome. I run a small Local SEO company, independent dealers are our best & most clients we work with (8 years in the automotive business).

Worked with so many vendors in the car biz, Cobalt, KPA(TK), Dealer, VinSolutions, vAuto etc.

Would love to pick your brain for some insight. :)

edit : Back to the conversation, no map packs are showing up anymore for used cars los angeles & variations. Again, if you add "dealer" or "dealership" I get the map pack. Organic as always surrounded by third party sites.
 

Linda Buquet

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Really great insights you guys.


Here is the big post I've been working on.

<a href="http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/google-local-important/21058-google-pigeon-collateral-damage-what-you-can.html#post45329">Google Pigeon Collateral Damage & What You Can Do About it</a>
 

MichaelJ

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Map packs barely show up under "used cars" but anything that can be determined as a physical business "used car DEALER" the map pack is intact.

I agree with your assesment @feeding. I've seen some changes with dealers, but not nearly as much as other verticals.
 
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