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Home » Blog » Google Pigeon Algorithm: Everything you need to know

Google Pigeon Algorithm: Everything you need to know

Google pigeon algorithm

With new and improved technology Google keeps innovating. One of such innovations is Google Pigeon Algorithm. This algorithm focuses on local search results. It refines the businesses listed in google my business to make the local search more relevant and accurate, for its users than it was in traditional web search.  

It was Launched on July 24, 2014. This was the fourth algorithm launched by Google. First was Google Panda Algorithm, second was the Google Penguin algorithm after that was the Google hummingbird algorithm and finally, Google pigeon Algorithm was launched.

When this update was launched there were some noticeable glitches in the update but very soon these were corrected and it was cited as the most impactful local algorithm update.

This name, pigeon, was suggested by Search Engine Land. To keep up with previous updates also starting with P (panda and penguin). It is appropriate as pigeons are known for flying back home. This fitted with this update too.  

How does this algorithm work?

Google Pigeon Algorithm affects those searches where the location plays a vital role. 

Traditionally, Local searches played a role when the businesses were ranked but now businesses need to work on their SEO. They have to invest their energies in improving their site and information about their site on other websites too. 

Before the launch of this algorithm, google showed 7 search results for local businesses but after the launch of this algorithm after about a year it showed a set of 3 results on the search engine result page (SERP). This was one of the most notable changes in google due to this algorithm.

As a user whenever you search for any location on google or any shop, salon, or any other place and your GPS is on. This algorithm helps to find the best and closest venue near you. It works automatically to give you the best results.

Hence, this makes google very smart as it shows the result according to your distance. Gives the top spots to local directory sites. 

Why was this update launched?

Google believes in giving fair chances to all. Small businesses also deserve to be listed on google my business and to be ranked higher. Regardless of a business’s size, area, location, the popularity it should have an equal opportunity to appear in Google’s search result.

What Changed on google?

Prior to the launch of pigeon update, the map search results and the user experience was a lot different than it is now.

Now it is more uniform and user friendly.

Traditional search

Traditional search when pigeon update was not there
Image source: Search engine land

Latest search

Search result after launch of pigeon algorithm
Image source: Search engine land

The integration between the local listing directories and Google have also improved.  As google updated how it would treat these directories.

Before pigeon update yelp, one of the local directories blamed google for promoting its own content. Yelp also said that it was being outranked by google reviews even though the user searched for yelp. 

After the pigeon launch, Yelp and other directories google started working in favor of these directories and started ranking them on SERP. This made google unbiased. 

Significance of pigeon

Pigeon update has not only improved the search results but it has also benefited other small businesses and local directories.

Some of the benefits of pigeon update are listed below.

  1. Local businesses may have seen an increase in web traffic and potential new customers.
  2. Better user experience due to uniform and accurate search results.
  3. Local directories have started getting visibility on Google SERP.
  4. Transparent and relevant search results. 
  5. Google distance measurement and location tools have been updated so now users get the search result according to their location.
  6. It is an unbiased system as every business be it small or large gets an equal opportunity to appear on SERP.
  7. Now google users get results in fewer steps more quickly than before.

How can you use it to improve your SEO?

Pigeon algorithm is a phenomenal update launched by google. If you know SEO you can use this update for your benefit. There are few things you can do to improve your business’ ranking and list in the set of top 3.

Follow traditional SEO

Earlier you must have built nofollow or dofollow backlinks on various websites. Keep doing that. Write meaningful and easily understandable content. Use the keywords that your audience might use.

Focus on the region-specific content

 You can create blogs, PPTs, videos, images, podcasts that will be based on your area, city, region or state. This will help you to strengthen your authority on local searches.

Register for Google My Business page

You must log in to google my business from your business account. Fill all the accurate details. Complete your profile and verify your business. 

My business indexes your business information so that it can appear in Google searches and maps. Optimize your business so that Google can get all the information. Believe that your website is legitimate.

Publish on listing sites

A listing site is a website that has a number of businesses of the same niche, location, town, or city listed. There is very little information about the business like the name, phone number, address, and website of the business. They are also known as business directories.

Some examples of these free listing websites are,,,, and many more. 

This helps to make your business legitimate in the eyes of google crawlers.  The more sites you list your website on, the more chances are there for your business to rank higher.

See your competition

Always make sure that you make a note of what your competitors are doing so that you can perform better than them. 

Unknown Facts about Pigeon update

This update was initially launched in the US but was slowly released in the UK, Canada, and Australia on December 22, 2014.

The pigeon was called the largest local algorithm event by industry experts, since the 2012 Venice update.

Are you afraid of pigeon update?

Well, it is very normal to be afraid of changes but it’s not okay to not adapt to those changes. Pigeon update might have changed a lot but it is for the benefit of businesses and users.

Google just wants to be fair for all and wants to give an equal opportunity to every business to rank.

Don’t be afraid. If you’ll carry on your business legitimately your business is under no threat. Working hard and proper optimization will help you rank higher.

Ensure you do not use unfair means to rank. Otherwise, your website will be declared as spam by google. And you won’t be able to rank. 


This update is very significant. It Helped local directories, made local search user-friendly, accurate, and uniform. It provides an excellent experience to users as well business owners.

If you are a business owner, just make sure you optimize your website and if you are a user you don’t have to worry about anything because Google does it for you.

There is no doubt that Google will keep bringing changes for the betterment of the user experience. Keep yourself updated and keep working hard to rank your business. 

Don’t forget to readjust your business’ strategies as per the updates. 

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