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Google’s “Pigeon” Update Boosts Local Directories

Segun Balogun

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Google’s Pigeon Update Solves Yelp Problem, Boosts Local Directories

On July 24, Google went public with a new algorithm change that, as opposed to affecting online retailers and businesses, pertains mostly to brick and mortar stores by modifying local directory listings. What does it do and how does it affect your business?

The Update and How it Works

While Google gave no name to its recent algorithm change, in keeping with the animal theme – Panda, Hummingbird and so on – Search Engine Land has aptly nicknamed the latest update Pigeon, after the birds that tend to fly back home.

While most of the changes are to the back end of the network and how it runs searches, the impact is clear for searchers on the front end. The algorithm is designed to provide relevant and accurate search results for local businesses that are more closely related to traditional search rankings and signals.

According to the network, the new algorithm uses Google’s web search capabilities on a deeper level, meaning that the way local listings are displayed in results will be more like how standard search results are generated with less favoritism toward Google Places listings.

The Pigeon update currently affects only US English results, and no information has been released as to when the update will be rolled out in other languages and locations. The main affect of the algorithm change? Local directory sites and listings are receiving better rankings and visibility in search results on Google than ever before.

Why?

While the reason behind the update has not been made public, there has been speculation as to why Google made the algorithm change.

Starting back in 2012 with the release of Google Places, online directories like Yelp started to notice a decline in the prominence of their listings. The Yelp problem“, as it became commonly known, referred to the appearance that Google was manipulating results to put its own listings ahead of other directories, regardless of search term, popularity or other traditional SEO practices. Yelp’s report detailed one specific search term – “gary denko yelp” – and found that the results listed the official Gary Danko, a well-known restaurant in San Fancisco, California, website and multiple Google+ listings and pieces of content ahead of the Yelp listing that was specifically searched for.

While this is not listed anywhere as the actual cause or motivator behind the update, since the change, the same search term now lists the Yelp listing for Gary Denko first in Google results.

Who it Impacts

While the “Yelp problem” has been addressed with the update, other local directories will also likely see an increase in search rankings and overall popularity.

Sites like Urbanspoon and TripAdvisor that list local eateries and attractions will no longer have to battle Google’s listings. Instead, retailers and restaurants that use online directories can focus on the directories that attract the most attention, instead of catering to the requirements and needs of Google.

The update will also affect retailers and local businesses relying on traditional SEO for their own websites. Because of the new prominence of listings, going at it alone, without the support of larger networks may be more difficult than ever.

Increasing the Exposure of Your Business

In theory, Google’s new algorithm change is straightforward and easy to understand. But, what does it mean for your business? How can you be sure you benefit from the update instead of falling short? Follow these tips for success:

Study Your Listings

Maybe you switched to Google Places because of the prominence of the results and left behind a directory that was driving more traffic and receiving more attention. If this is the case, now is the time to step back. Look at where the traffic to your site is coming from and focus on that source. Because all directories now receive prominence on Google, understanding which site drives the most traffic to your site is important when deciding where to focus your attention and efforts.

Don’t Forget Google

New updates and algorithms are released daily – 500-600 times per year to be more precise. Because of this, you can never be sure of when a new algorithm will be released that will affect your business. Maintaining an active Google Places and Google+ presence is always recommended.

Focus on Major Directory Sites

As previously mentioned, the update will make it harder than ever for individual websites advertising local businesses to maintain a high search ranking with Google. Instead, directories are more prominent – and therefore more important – than ever. Take the time to create a business page on large directory sites – like Yelp and to optimize where possible.

Get Your Customers Involved

The best way to attract attention is to increase the number of positive reviews. Take the time to ask your customers to participate and to leave reviews. Link to your Yelp – or other directory – listing in your email newsletter and on your website. Leave pamphlets in your store or restaurant. Use social media pages to ask your followers for reviews. The more positivity you can generate, the more your listings will work to your advantage.

Maintain an Active Home Website

While your website may be more difficult than ever to promote through Google with the new algorithm update, that doesn’t mean it’s obsolete. It’s still the focus of your business and where your directory listings will send visitors. Be sure it is current, hosts relevant information, attracts attention and promotes your business in a positive manner.

Google’s Pigeon update may very well revolutionize the way listings are displayed in search results. Take the steps necessary today to ensure your business benefits from the new release.

SOURCE : sitepronews

Experienced Social media Manager , Website designer/Manager, and Search Engine Optimization Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Public Speaking, Writing, HTML, and Content Marketing. Strong marketing professional with a Bachelor of Science in education focused in Industrial and Technology education from University of Nigeria , Nsukka. For a FREE 30 minute chat about your digital marketing strategy.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Sunday

    August 6, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Google’s Pigeon update is all about improving local search for directories. Marketers must take advantage of this and increase the local exposures for their business.

    Well, luckily these and other posts have addressed what is required of marketers to gain traction with improved local search contents!

    This post “kingged” or upvoted in kingged.com where it was shared for bloggers,social marketers,and online marketers.
    http://kingged.com/googles-pigeon-update-boosts-local-directories/

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Techplus 2016 : Photos From Second edition of Nigeria’s largest tech gathering

Segun Balogun

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techplus

The second edition of Nigeria’s largest tech gathering , Techplus 2016, with the theme ‘A Connected World’ scheduled to take place from the 21st to 23rd July 2016, commenced on Thursday at the Eko Hotel and Suites. This event is a gathering of people involved in technology at all levels, including gaming, Blogging , Startup , programming and education. This exhibition also serves as a platform for tech enthusiasts to share knowledge and network as well as a marketplace for consumers and businesses. The opening session featured several exclusive VIP sessions and the gaming tournament.

This is the best tech event we at techcribng have attended , so far this year , …Below are some picture about the great innovation and the event in general.

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source : techplusng

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West African Bloggers Conference Set To Hold In Lagos From May 15-16 2015.

Segun Balogun

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wabclagos2015

Building relationships with other fellow bloggers and website owners is the best thing you can do for your online presence.So are you aiready for the West Africa Bloggers Conference . This might not the be the biggest conference for bloggers in Africa but its a must attend for long term bloggers, newbies and aspiring bloggers who want to acquire more knowledge. The conference is scheduled to hold on 15 and 16 May, 2015 at Berkeley Hotel, Ikeja Lagos. Expected speakers at the conference include Bayo Adekambi, Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Jonathan Doerr, Managing Director, Jumia Nigeria, Valentine Obi, Managing Director of eTranzact and several others
west-africa-blogger-conference-techcribng

And the benefits?

Networking opportunities for bloggers and SM managers in West Africa.
Learning opportunities.
Access to new digital tools.
Knowledge sharing.
Expose revenue opportunities to bloggers and SM managers in West Africa.
Expose digital trends.
Discuss creative solutions in digital publishing.
Interact with Digitally inclined brand in West Africa.

Log on to www.westafricabloggersconference.com to register a seat. Although you can stream the event live or follow the twitter feeds of the event via the hashtag #WABCLagos2015, nothing compares to being there and getting to network with the best in the sector.

This awesome conference is powered by Jumia NG and lot more I hope to see you at the conference.

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5 Tips to become a successful blogger

Segun Balogun

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Blogging is the act of posting content on a blog (a Web log or online journal) or posting comments on someone else’s blog.
Blogging is very popular today because it allows people to interact with each other. Blogging has also become a popular search engine optimization (SEO) tool because search engines like Google and Yahoo know that a blog is frequently updated with content or visitor comments, so their spiders visit blogs frequently looking for new content to include in their index.

Let’s get one thing out of the way

Blogging is difficult and if you want to get the kind of traffic and exposure you really want then you need to stay within a niche in which you are very good at. It really does not have to be something you have been doing for ever, it only needs to be something you love doing. Simply put, write about your passion.

Having said that, Akeem Baiyewu an editor of punch explained that you don’t really  need to be an expert in a particular niche before you begin to sound and look-like an expert in that field. This article is for would-be bloggers who need to write great content about a niche they really do not know much about.

Do you know it is easy to be an authority in a particular niche? All you need is the dedication and ample time to do your research and our old good friend, the Internet. If you have a lot of time, you could go learn about the niche you want to write about. That could take anything from over 52 weeks or more but if you are on a deadline, here are some simple tips that can help you write about any niche. You can also use it to improve your writing in your present niche.

5 Tips to become a successful blogger

Do your homework

One of the easiest ways to write about any topic is to learn all you can about it. Let’s take an example. I want to write about surgical procedures. The first point to consider is to fire up my browser and type the word “surgery” into my browser. What I want to achieve at this point is to know all I can about surgery and to get a feel of how other people have written about the topic. You can also do this if you can lay your hands on publications or magazines that discuss the topic. What you will be looking for at this point apart from learning the rudiment is to note down links to researches, quotes, expert names and sources that were mentioned and anything else that can be of interest. Most especially you want to know what interest people about the topic.

Talk to experts

After following step 1, you are now in a better position from where you started. You now have a better understanding of the industry and issues that people love to talk about. In the process of your research, you might have come across an expert who had discussed any issue pertaining to the topic you are interested in. This is possible if you have followed the links you came across earlier in your research. Now is the time to take it a notch further. Interviewing two or three experts will give you a better insight into the topic and you might even stumble upon facts or figures that have not been previously discussed. You can even ask them for a quote or reference. If the expert is not in your country, you can research their contact details or simply shoot them a tweet online. People really don’t want unnecessary interruption so you have to be as authentic as possible.

Follow your leads

By this point you should have plenty of leads, quotes, figures and fact. Once you have been able to cross check all facts and stats, you can begin to write your first draft. The idea of this draft is to see if you have been able to piece together a puzzle which you do not understand.

After writing this first draft, you want to see if your article needs improvement. There are no set rules or procedures for writing your draft but it is important to state that it is usually a good idea to leave your first draft for at least 24 hours before coming back to it. Once you come back to it, you want to read it again and see how it turns out by putting all the pieces together.

Once you do this, you need to see if there are no glaring omissions. When writing a great piece, you need to be as specific as possible!

When you feel confident you can write with authority, it’s time to do just that.

Putting it all together

This is where you put everything you have been writing together. At this point, you will be dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘t’s.

Conclusion

Writing about any topic can be fun if you are ready to put in the leg work required. Try this technique and let me know how well it worked for you in the comment section

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