Last week, Google released a new update to their local search algorithm. We’ve heard of Hummingbird, Penguin, and Panda. Now, Google has added a Pigeon Update to the mix.

While Google maintains that they have no internal name for this update, the world of marketing has decided this update is significant enough to have a name of its own.  Therefore, Search Engine Land has appropriately named this update the Pigeon update.

Google’s Pigeon update is aimed towards creating more relevant and useful local search results, and allowing local search results to be as user-friendly and functional as a traditional web search. Users will be able to see these changes when searching specifically for local information. This information will appear differently in a standard web search as well as on Google Maps.

Businesses may notice a significant increase or decrease in organic and search related traffic. As a business owner, we encourage you to review your referral and lead traffic for any noticeable change.

The Pigeon update does more to gather information for Google’s Knowledge Graph as well as recognize similar keywords within a local search function. This algorithm update also does more to ensure that a company’s local listing is active and correct. Be sure to check for broken links, correct phone numbers, and spelling in your Google Local listing.

Additionally, the Pigeon update improves Google’s understanding of Geo-location, distance, and location ranking parameters. What that means is if you’re in a dense city like New York and you search for a nearby Chinese restaurant, you won’t find your first recommendation more than 20 blocks away as Google begins to understand that in areas such of this, someone in SoHo rarely has any interest in the best Chinese restaurant on the Upper East Side. Google is doing more to understand local search at a neighborhood level and not just at a city-wide level.

Currently, the Pigeon update has been released in the United States only, with no information as to when this update can be expected universally.

If you have experienced any changes in your local search results, share your experience with us in the comments below.