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Google Pigeon arrives in the UK, Canada and Australia.

The author

Jason Sanderson

Senior Technical SEO Strategist

A Google spokesperson has confirmed that the Google Pigeon update, that was originally US only, has now been rolled out across the UK, Canada and Australia.

Originally launched on 24th July 2014 for US English, the new algorithm update aims to provide a more accurate and relevant set of results for location affected Google Web and Google Map searches.

As with any of Google's algorithm updates, exact improvements to Google's distance and location ranking parameters are unknown. However, we do know that Google's aim has been to influence location based rankings on ​a wide range of traditional ranking factors, such as quality of a domains back links, rather than just being focused on how close a business is to the queried area.

The original Pigeon update saw the majority changes happening on Google's back-end systems, with only slight modifications to the way in which SERPs were displayed to the end user. The most notable coming from 7 listing based local packs being reduced to only 3 listings; or in the case of some industry verticals no local pack results appearing at all. So those sites hovering around the base of local packs may start to experience more noticeable fluctuations.

At this moment the update does not appear to be affecting all results, as at the time of writing a search for "used cars in Leeds" still returned the traditional 7 pack of results.


(Example search: "used cars in Leeds")

Ever since the update rolled out in the US it has been expected that it would eventually roll out to other countries worldwide, so today's announcement is no surprise.

The Pigeon update demonstrates how optimising for local search is a core part of any SEO campaign, with citations focusing around the NAP, (Name, address and Phone Number), being an important part of that development.​

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