Pigeon – Google’s new algorithm

If you passed our quiz, the Animals of Content-Marketing, it’s time to take note of a new beast in the marketing menagerie. OK, not so much a beast as a bird… pigeon.

That’s the unofficial name of Google’s latest search algorithm – christened in fact by Search Engine Land. In this post Kelsey Jones places Pigeon in the context of Google’s full zoo of animal-named algorithms – the nub is that Pigeon tries to favour local businesses in search engine results pages (SERPs) over generic brands.

Good news, then, for smaller companies looking to reach out to a local clientele? Only if they nail their content-marketing, according to Jones.

Before Pigeon, there was a strong chance that searching for pizza restaurants in Boise will return listings for major brands such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut towards the top of the SERP. In the post-Pigeon era, search results that are authoritatively local will be more prominently featured on the SERP, and they will be enhanced with relevant content. Pizza restaurants in Boise that have a verified presence on Google’s own social network, Google Plus (G+), will benefit from having their menus, reviews, and photographs shown on the SERP. To this end, local business owners will definitely want to ensure that they are doing their share of content marketing and social media engagement on G+.

Google is currently experimenting with Pigeon in the US and there appears to be no official word on when it will migrate to UK shores. Safe to assume it’s just a matter of time.

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