Google's latest update (known as the "Pigeon Update"), was designed to improve the accuracy and relevance of local search results. The goal was to create an algorithm update which would focus on accuracy and relevance of results and drive the user to the most relevant and related local search landing pages. For this reason, it's a good idea for businesses to create "list pages" in their blogs and websites, to draw more customers.
PIGEONS FLY UPWARDS AND IN GROUPS
Did you ever notice that pigeons, when they are not searching for food on the ground, are always flying upward toward the rafters or the tops of city buildings? That's because they are moving toward the light and want to be in an area where there are lots of places to build nests with other pigeons. The same is true of the new Google update. Local businesses who wish to move forward with their business message may find that creating list pages will help build their following and get them noticed from the ground up. That's because the Pigeon update allows people to find you from many places when they do local searches.
The results are always unpredictable when Google issues new updates but so far the results of the "Pigeon update" are favorable for local businesses especially. This is because the ranking procedures Google uses more closely line up with the searches people are doing in light of the changes, utilizing such new tools such as Knowledge Graph, and others. The changes supposedly improve both distance and location parameters, which result in more accurate, relevant landing pages for searches which are done locally. Some of these changes are due to the fact that Google uses such services as third-party sites like Urban Spoon or other business directories to complement the searches.
Such directory services are very "geographically-friendly" and this increases the chances of landing on the local search pages of local businesses, due to its frequency in Google via these third-party business directories. This explains why list pages are doing so well in the searches right now following the updates. Scott Langdon, Managing Partner of SEO Company HigherVisibility, put it best here when he said, "Keep in mind the goal of this algorithm update--to tie local results more closely to standard web ranking signals. With this in mind, it's those sites that have solid and strong SEO signals that are going to prevail." Here is how it works.
HELP FROM YELP
Some business directories are very search friendly themselves, adding more advantages to local businesses due to the fact that they'll be listed in Yelp so when people search, they may find your business more than one way. If you are listed in these popular business directories, it will get people to connect with you via the embedded directory listing, as well as on Google and that's double coverage!
WHY LIST PAGES ARE DOING SO WELL WITH THE NEW UPDATE
In light of these new changes, one strategy you may want to try is to make lists with numbers regarding amenities in your area which you wish to promote (i.e., your business), and to create a blog featuring some of your favorite lists which people in your area will like.
Margarita Hakobyan, the CEO of Movers Corp in Salt Lake put this to the test by creating one hundred plus local moving guides for her site. She said, "We created over 100 list-type articles on our website in July. Now that we're into August, we're starting to notice more organic traffic to those pages than any of the other pages on our site."
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The best thing you can do first to take advantage of the new Pigeon updates, is to make sure your business is listed in the popular business directories. Then you will want to also create Top 10 lists of your own on your page to draw customers and include yourself in the lists. This strategy will draw people in due to the nature of Google's new update and how it works with local search results, while also promoting your business on the business directories. Remember the key to greater sales is greater visibility and Google's new updates are helping local businesses get noticed!