Important Thoughts on Google’s Pigeon Update

Google's Pigeon Update

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.

I get that Barry was trying to stick with the “P” animal names to match Panda and Penguin (cause hey, alliteration’s always awesome). But come on, Search Engine Land – there are SO MANY other options for P-named animals that would have been so much more fitting…

[one_fourth last=”no”][/one_fourth][three_fourth last=”yes”]


I don’t know if any of you ever had a pet parakeet, but those little birds suck. They’re extremely noisy (like the new search results) and they poop more than anything I’ve ever seen (so the poop jokes could still run wild).
CATCHPHRASE: “I got chirped by Parakeet!”[/three_fourth]

[one_fourth last=”no”][/one_fourth][three_fourth last=”yes”]


They copy anything people say (even when you don’t want them to), kinda like Google copies info off your site to show in the Knowledge Graph…
CATCHPHRASE: “I got Parroted!”[/three_fourth]

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So pelicans have these huge beaks, and they swoop down and swallow tons of small fish… Exactly like how Google rolled out the update and swallowed tons of small businesses.
CATCHPHRASE: “I got swallowed by Pelican!”[/three_fourth]

But let’s get away from birds and look at some animals that kick a little more butt… [one_fourth last=”no”][/one_fourth][three_fourth last=”yes”]

Polar Bear

Polar bears have completely black skin underneath all that fluffy white hair… Kinda like how Google has an evil black heart underneath the colorful pretty logo.
CATCHPHRASE: “I got mauled by Polar Bear!”[/three_fourth]

[one_fourth last=”no”][/one_fourth][three_fourth last=”yes”]

Praying Mantis

Just like the female praying mantis eats the male during intercourse, Google is preying on (and screwing) small businesses everywhere with this update.
CATCHPHRASE: “I got Praying Mantised!” (sorry, had to keep the post SFW)[/three_fourth]

[one_fourth last=”no”][/one_fourth][three_fourth last=”yes”]

Prairie Dog

They’re annoying little rodents that dig into everything and undermine your yard… Kinda like how Google digs into local results and undermines small businesses.
CATCHPHRASE: “I got Prairie Dogged!”[/three_fourth]

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Have you ever seen one up close? They’re huge and totally scary and will totally mess you up… Just like Google’s monopoly on search results. Plus, it sticks with the black color of Penguin and Panda.
CATCHPHRASE: “I got eaten by Panther!”[/three_fourth]

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Ok, so we’re back to a bird. They’re pretty and colorful, but INCREDIBLY loud and annoying. I stayed at a resort in the Dominican Republic and they just roamed around randomly and annoyed the heck out of your constantly… Just like the local algo update.
CATCHPHRASE: “I got Peacocked!”[/three_fourth]

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Google obviously has no problem stealing our content for the Knowledge Graph, and is killing small businesses with the update… Why not take the next logical step and steal the trademark of a huge company and try to kill it too?
CATCHPHRASE: “I got mauled by Puma!”[/three_fourth]

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It’s sort of the redheaded stepchild of the dolphin. Super intelligent and misunderstood. Navigates by echolocation, so it’s location-based… just like the new algo update.
CATCHPHRASE: “Google tanked my rankings on Porpoise!”[/three_fourth]

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Possums are freaky little scary beasts, and quite possibly the ugliest animal on the planet. When in danger, they act like they’re dead… Kinda like all the local businesses Google is killing with this update.
CATCHPHRASE: “My rankings are playing Possum!”[/three_fourth]

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They’re super cute and fairly docile, but really dangerous and prickly because of their spines. Getting poked by one of those spines is excruciating… kinda like getting hit by the recent algo update.
CATCHPHRASE: “I got stuck by Porcupine!”[/three_fourth]

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C’mon, Barry – this name would have been WAY more scary and badass than Pigeon. A super creepy fish that eats everything… just like the algo update.
CATCHPHRASE: “I got devoured by Piranha!”[/three_fourth]

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By far the coolest P-named animal ever. Seriously – do I even need to explain why this would have been the ultimate name for the algo update? Plus, it gets bonus points for making the most awesome animal noise of any animal, ever.
CATCHPHRASE: “I got slapped by Platypus!”
(because of that flat beaver-like tail… get it?)[/three_fourth]