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How the Google Pigeon Update Changed Local Search Results

One of Google’s biggest-impact algorithm updates was implemented for the sake of local search results, and local businesses typically saw the effects of the update in their website’s analytics data.

Google users certainly saw the impact, too, and that typically meant a different, and eventually better, search experience in terms of local businesses and the information pertaining to those businesses.

Believed to have launched on or around July 24, 2014 — and deemed the “Pigeon” update soon after by Search Engine Land — this Google search algorithm update aimed to offer better local search results by rewarding local businesses that have a strong organic presence with better visibility in traditional search, similar to the visibility a business may have seen previously in Google Maps.

The idea that small businesses with locally relevant brick-and-mortar locations (think “mom and pop stores”) deserve to show up in search just as much as other businesses in the area, regardless of size or brand popularity, makes total sense assuming the business ranking well in the results provides what the search query suggests.

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