Two weeks ago, Google rolled out a significant change to the local ranking algorithm. According to their announcement, the new algo uses more of the traditional search ranking signals to provide more useful, relevant, and accurate local search results.
Search results have been in utter turmoil since the update, and no one really has any idea what’s going on. Local results disappeared on many queries that used to pull up the map pack, and we’ve seen tons of examples of directory sites showing up as physical locations in the carousel.
Google didn’t name the update, but since it was obviously a major change to the algorithm, Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land came up with the nickname “Pigeon.” Industry experts were quick to call the bad search results “pigeon poo” or “pigeon droppings,” and everyone giggled internally.