Last week the online search world experienced an earthquake. The earth didn’t actually move, but our search results experienced a significant “shake” when Google released what has been dubbed the “Pigeon” update. For local businesses, this update has been extremely positive, displaying business listings in a huge percentage of its queries. We have discovered that small businesses, locally searched, may actually see a big gain as a result of the Pigeon update. Let me explain some of our findings. Initially, many who reviewed results after the update concluded that local Map Packs were significantly reduced in Google search results. The initial data that MOZ released suggested a grim picture with a huge reduction in Map Packs. However, upon further inspection, the queries performed lacked user location. For years Google has detected user’s physical location and used that information to deliver unique search results. Now it appears that setting location is necessary to return the most relevant local results. Continue reading
Darren Shaw is the Founder and President of Whitespark a digital marketing and tools provider that focuses on local businesses. Probably most well known for the awesome Local Citation Finder tool, Darren is one of the leading experts in local search and someone who I have learned quite a bit from. His talk at SearchLove West last year was an excellent “how to” on the citation cleanup process.
Does anyone remember Google Local Business Center (GLBC)? That was the interface a local business owner could use to claim and edit their listing on Google prior to 2010. Users called their Google listing a “GLBC listing” for short. Then in April, 2010, Google launched Places for Business. With this launch, business owners were supposed to refer to their Google listing as a Google Places page. This transition was fairly smooth. There wasn’t a drastic change on the interface side of things and the process of claiming and editing a listing remained the same. That was then.