As local SEO strategies have moved in to supplant the more generalized methods of the past, both SEO services and their clients and Google have had to adapt to fit such a huge paradigm shift. Google, for its part, released its latest response to changes in search engine optimization strategies at the end of July 2014. As Business 2 Community reports, the update, titled ‘Pigeon,’ shook up the way localized SEO content was assigned rank by Google’s cataloging robots. As ‘Pigeon’ took up roost, many small business owners saw their page ranking drop from the coveted first page — a page which 75% of web users never scroll past — to the second page and below.

Even with such a notable impact and some natural uncertainty following Pigeon, it should be noted that most are blowing the situation far out of proportion. Yes, Pigeon can have a rather nasty impact on local SEO campaigns, but overall, it represents an opportunity for businesses to really refine their approach and do better by their customers.

Despite the Change, Pigeon Just Places More Emphasis on the Same Effective Tactics
As Search Engine Watch details, there has been a lot of industry chatter in the weeks since the release of Pigeon on whether or not the algorithm update is good or bad for business. The consensus? It’s awesome for those who place a lot of emphasis on getting localized SEO right, but it’s also quite damaging for those who either don’t get local SEO or the idea of SEO in general. The popular review service Yelp!, for instance, has seen its number of listings and overall rankings shoot through the roof since Pigeon went live.

For the popular online marketing news source PracticalEcommerce, Pigeon really just puts the onus back on SEO services and independent marketers to set ethical local SEO practices as their priority. What is ethical in this case? Any marketing practice that is put into effect to better serve web users and potential customers is ethical.

Optimizing placement of your business information on your webpage; producing engaging, entertaining, and educational content; and providing photographs of your business and local area on Google My Business — all of these practices place the consumer first and are thereby thought of as ethical by Google. Redoubling your efforts to incorporate these techniques will mean only benefiting from Pigeon.

How much did the release of the Pigeon update affect your local SEO strategies and your overall ranking? Let us know in the comment section below.