The Pigeon Update and Its Impact on Businesses
We’ve witnessed a lot of talk after the recent Pigeon update. Many businesses and site owners have been affected by the update in some way, which has forced them to adjust their approach and search engine optimization methods. So let’s take a look at what’s been going on and what is the possible direction for the local SEO market going forward.
1. Pigeon Is Believed to Have Improved User Experience for Searchers
According to the study at Search Engine Land, 53 percent of SEOs believe that Pigeon is bad for businesses and their search engine presence. But at the same time, 69 percent believe that it’s good for searchers and that the search engine delivers generally better results.
The search results have become much more user-centric, with better and narrower geo-targeting responding to the user’s actual needs, rather than just focusing on their general location.
What this means for site owners is that focusing only on keywords is a short lived game. Instead, you need to focus on solving specific problems rather than offering a product that relates to some keyword.
2. Adjustments Need to Be Made
It’s reported that pure local search engine signals are losing their power to more traditional organic metrics (like domain authority and links).
In tune with those changes, 58 percent of SEOs have either already changed or are planning to change their search strategy to focus some more on those traditional metrics.
The dangerous part here, however, is that any minute Google can come out and bring back the local signals’ importance.
3. Small Changes in Traffic
Search Engine Land reports that 37 percent of sites have lost traffic, while 28 percent have gained traffic after the Pigeon update. Also, 87 percent saw only a small amount of change. On the other side of the spectrum, 13 percent have seen significant losses or gains.
This scenario is kind of similar to what happens after every Google algorithm update. We always see people that have been hugely affected and those who have seen only a little change (for the good or bad).
4. No Improvement in Conversions
The general belief with Pigeon was that due to the narrower user targeting, websites would be getting a better targeted audience that’s ready to convert at a higher rate.
In practice, however, only 18 percent of SEOs have noticed any improvements in conversions. And even more interestingly, 24 percent report that their conversions have gone down, and 58 percent have seen no change at all.
In the end, the changes brought by Pigeon don’t seem to be that huge. However, it’s advisable to stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the local SEO space and keep adjusting your methods accordingly.