The “Pidgeon” update, which was pushed through on July 24th, 2014, was one of the most significant changes to Google’s search rankings so far. Some changes were noticeable almost immediately. Many noticed that real estate queries took a big hit in local results. On the flip side, hospitality was given a noticeably big boost in local rankings.
While these changes were noticed due to the large margins of change, BrightEdge did a nice job of filling in the gaps with some comparisons between local results in August and July. BrightEdge found that local results appeared in 11.26% less search queries overall.
Their research also found that real estate queries did indeed bring up 63.45% less local searches. Jobs and career based searches also dipped by about 67% in the local search result box.
Of all the industries affected by the Pigeon update, hospitality, education, and food saw the biggest increase in local search results. Hospitality led the way with 28%, then food with 19%, and then education with a 13% increase.
So how should you stay on top of local optimization?
Google has confirmed that the Pigeon update has increased the ability for Google to narrow down localization even further. This means that the range of local results will be more limited. Optimizing for neighborhoods or villages within towns could now be more worthwhile as Google slowly begins to hyper localize.