Google added a new algorithm to the UK search engines in December 2014 they called it Google Pigeon, this has a massive impact on Google Local Searches.

What are Google Local Searches?

Google Local searches are when someone searches for something location based (geographical searches), so for instance you might type ‘Cafes in Manchester’, this will then return the results based on Manchester + Cafes.  Another local search is now available using generic searches on mobile devices, you now only need to type ‘cafes’ and if you don’t specify an area Google will use your current location to return the cafes in the area you are currently at. Google say that ‘as many as 1 in 3 searches are now location based’, so it makes sense to get your ‘local searches’ in order.

Google Local Search Results Manchester cafes

Google search for Cafes Manchester are displayed in the 7 panel and maps

What is Google Pigeon

Google pigeon is an algorithm that ranks websites for local factors, those sites that are ‘Pigeon’ friendly are more likely to be show in search results that are location based. These results may be returned in search result panels, the top 7 search panel or on Google maps as pins.

The Google Pigeon is Evolving

The pigeon is evolving, Google are tweaking the algorithm all the time, a recent addition is now to show price range on results when a search for accommodation is performed as in the example below for a search ‘Hawes Accommodation’. The price  feeds from accommodation booking sites e.g, and is shown under the web address. This allows ‘searchers’ to click on the link and directly book via the agency.

Accommodation search showing prices

Search performed for accommodation in Hawes now shows the price range.

How to improve your Google Local Search ranking

There are lots of things you should do, but probably the most important start is to get your Google+ page complete. Google bases a lot of its results on what it finds on your Google+ page, opening hours, telephone number, address and more.  The other thing is to get a good website that operates well across all devices whether it be Desktop, tablet or mobile. Another good tip is to get listed on key business directories (making sure you are consistent in the information you add)

There is obviously a lot more you can do to improve your chances on getting shown on Google Searches, there are no guarantees but you can certainly increase your chances of getting ranked.

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