Google Algorithms Explained Part 3: Pigeon - Find8 Performance Marketing

Google Algorithms Explained Part 3: Pigeon

This is our third blog post examining Google’s search algorithms: Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon.

We’ve already examined Panda.

Penguin’s been analyzed.

Pigeon focuses on local search.

This blog post will focus on Pigeon and what you can do to improve your ranking in Google’s algorithm.

google pigeon algorithm

Google Pigeon Algorithm:

Imagine you own a local hair salon and one day, you decide to search ‘hair salon West Lafayette Indiana’ on Google. Seven local hair salons pop up but yours isn’t on the list. Your customers are happy, you’ve got a great location, and your website is up and running – so what happened?

Google Local Search SEO Search Engine Optimization Lafayette, IN

Before trying to determine why your business isn’t listed, it’s worth it to investigate Google’s Pigeon algorithm. So what Pigeon does is determine where your business will fall algorithmically in organic. To do this, Google utilizes Knowledge Graph, a central repository of information from a variety of sources about a business.

Before Knowledge Graph, local search used to be all about the consistent business name, address, and phone number listings. At Find8 Performance Marketing, we fondly refer to this key information as NAP. So while NAP is still important, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Now Pigeon looks at NAP, reviews on websites like Yelp, your business citations, and Knowledge Graph to determine where your business will fall in local search. So how do you boost your ranking in Google’s Pigeon algorithm? We’ve compiled a list of various factors that influence your ranking.

  • Have and maintain a website. In previous years, a business without a website could compete in Google Local. But as Pigeon continues to evolve and the use of local search expands, especially in mobile, businesses will have to have a website in order to compete in the rankings.
  • Build up your Yelp reviews. Google’s Pigeon algorithm places a lot of importance on Yelp where in previous years Yelp wasn’t nearly as important.
  • Locate your business as close as possible to Lafayette’s city center. Google favors businesses located at the center of the city so the closer your business is to the triangular area where 18th, South, and Main intersect, the better. Google has also reduced the perimeter of their searches so if you’re only located within the county, you’ll be at a disadvantage.
  • Get listed in industry directories. In the real estate sector, Google prioritizes sites like, Trulia, and Zillow and for lawyers; Google favors directories like Avvo,, Justia, and Findlaw.
  • This is a continuous process. Keep your online presence as up to date as possible. Out of date or old websites will fall to the wayside as competitors and other industry professionals continue to advance their online presence.

Local Search Engine Optimization in Lafayette, Indiana

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