Did you notice your website rankings are now lower? If you take a look on a Google search, you will see the top ranking sites are now directory sites instead of local businesses. All the hard work you did to end up on page one of Google… well… the established directory sites are now going to outrank you. This is all due to the latest update from Google – called the “Pigeon” update.

Yelp pointed out Google’s flaw

It came after backlash from Yelp complaining about their website not showing up at the top of the search results on Google when the word yelp was included in the search terms. Google’s own sites and small business sites were ranking first.

Updated Algorithm drops ranking for local businesses

Google updated its Algorithm and now favors directory sites, such as Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Thumbtack.
What does this mean for small businesses? It is highly recommended to make sure your business is listed in all the directory sites showing up on page one of the search engines. No, it’s not your site directly, but the more directory sites pointing back to your website the better. And, if people are going to end up clicking on the first results (now directory sites) then your business might as well be listed there.

What do small businesses do now?

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Do a Google search for keyword phrases your potential clients are searching for
Step 2) Notice which directory sites come up on page one and page 2 of the search engine
Step 3) Go to each directory and add your business information. (Some sites will offer free listings and others will be paid listings)
If yours is a local business, the SEO is now harder than ever. If you have a more global website, your rankings should not have been effected by the “Pigeon” update.

As of now, this update is not affecting All local businesses. If you do searches for less common types of businesses, the small business websites are still ranking number one. This is most likely because they are not the typical category of business a directory offers. So, not all business websites have been hit, but many certainly have and are feeling the effects of dropping in the search engines.

For help ranking higher in the search engines, reach out to us today.