Google’s newest algorithm update, nicknamed Pigeon, means local businesses are going to have to step up their game in order to keep their high rankings on Google.
SEO expert from Reload Media, James Boshier, said while the core changes of Google’s new update are behind the scenes, it’s the websites that have solid and strong SEO (search engine optimisation) that are going to come out on top.
“Two weeks ago when you searched for a specific terms such as ‘italian restaurant’, Google would potentially give you seven, five or three local listings in response,” he said.
“With the new algorithm there has been an increase in the number of search results showing three local listings and a decrease in results showing seven local listings. Google’s end goal is to give online searchers more specific results.”
Boshier said while the algorithm is still in testing phase, it’s going to become harder for businesses to stay on top of the local listings and Google searches.
“If you’re a business that rates towards the lower end of the top seven listings you could potentially lose that listing in the coming months” he said.
“That’s why businesses need to make sure they have good SEO and relevant information because Google will reward these businesses by keeping them in the top three of the local listings.”
Boshier said while the new update has made it harder for websites to stay on top, Google seems to be moving towards hyperlocal search.
“This means Google is likely to show more location specific listings based on the consumer’s location instead of using a broad approach,” he said.
“Small business owners wanting to make the most of this new change will need to prove to Google and online consumers that you have a legitimate business with a good product or service.”