Back in July, Google launched an algorithm update that shook up local search results in the U.S. While Google never gave it an official name like Panda or Penguin that we're aware of, Search Engine Land started calling it the "Pigeon" update, and that's what people in the industry have, for the most part, adopted for it.
That update has now reportedly started rolling out to other countries including the UK, Canada, and Australia.
Back in July when the update launched, people noticed missing 7 packs in some types of local results, and Google confirmed the update, saying that it "ties deeper into their web search capabilities, including the hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search, along with search reatures such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms, and more."
The update was also said to improve distance and location parameters.
Search Engine Land is now reporting that the update has significantly affected local businesses in the new regions, and points out that Google is, once again, making major algorithm changes around the holidays, which it had pretty much stopped doing until recently.
As we've talked about in the past, Google updates around the holidays can deliver major blows to businesses at the most important sales time of the year. Now, not only are they rolling this update out, they've been slowly rolling out a new version of Penguin.
Image via Google