It's a fact of life: pigeons aren't such great birds to have around if you are trying to keep the sidewalk clean. So it's kind of funny to have "Pigeon" be the nickname for Google's latest update in local search. Local makes me think of sidewalks, and sidewalks should be kept clean. But pigeons mess those sidewalks up.
From the way that local SEO questions have accumulated, maybe "pigeon" is appropriate after all. A lot of speculation has been flying around and, as usual, the flurry makes it hard to see what's actually happening.
Moz has a great post with Pigeon Advice from Top Local SEOs and a Pigeon-Proofing Checklist. This is a short, easy-to-read list of six top local SEO experts and their take on the whirlwind controversy Pigeon is creating. Then there's a six-point Pigeon-Proofing Checklist by Miriam Ellis:
- Stay alert to the coming changes because things haven't settled yet.
- Focus on less competitive terms if your radius has shrunken for core terms.
- Strive to build greater organic authority.
- Report spam appropriately (keep that sidewalk clean!)
- Have clean, consistent citations across the board.
- I like this one so much I want to share the whole quote: "Local SEO strives to build a web-based mirror-image of local business communities - but don't forget that it is only a reflection of the offline world. Citation building, content development, link earning, review acquisition - these are all incredibly important tasks, but they do not take the place of the service you offer and relationships you are building in the real world with face-to-face customers and associates."
Have you noticed changes in your local search rankings?