The Pigeon Update: Why Local SEO is ImportantToday

The search algorithm update by Google dubbed “Pigeon” allegedly uses stronger web signals to decipher local user search intent. It is supposed to help provide better local search results. While it is not perfect, Google is showing a strong commitment to getting it right considering it was updated a second time within a two-week period.

If you are a local business owner, being found online by those most likely to use your services or products is critical. It is more important than being on the first page of Google on the other side of the country. In other words, why bother trying to focus on worldwide SEO domination, trying to beat the big, national players, if you are only in business in a specific location? The painting company in Philadelphia does not need to be number one in Google for “painting company” in California, and most likely never will be.

All too often, I see website owners chasing the almost impossible dream of being number one in Google for a term they have no business being number one for. As an SEO agency, with local clients, it is our job to gently bring reality into the light and start working for more attainable goals.

Fortunately, Google is great at what they do. They have made it more feasible than ever for a website to be found, even for top keywords, as long as the website is relevant to the searcher. As an example, consider a website for a local, personal injury lawyer based in Chicago. Their website immediately becomes relevant when a searcher is actually in Chicago and they search for “personal injury lawyer.” A search for a doctor will help the user more when a local doctor is the result. Google recognizes this fact and is pushing the local results to the top of organic listings as well as the local listings.

 

In the example above, I performed a search for “doctor” from my home computer, which is on the border of Voorhees & Cherry Hill in New Jersey. Local doctors flooded the result, even above the normal “local” results (the results with the upside-down teardrop with the letter next to it).

What does this all mean?

To me, it means that properly implemented local SEO will be increasingly more important to businesses and their online exposure as time goes on. With the increasing use of cell phones to find answers as well as services and products, coupled with the fact that people want immediate gratification, having a well performing local result will be paramount for many business-types.

Reach out to us at Philly Marketing Labs to get some help improving your local SEO for a better online performance today!

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