Over the weekend Google released another search algorithm update, this time to their Local Search Algorithm. An article by Search Engine Land, the updated has appropriately dubbed this the “Pigeon” update, which will most likely stick, as this appears to be a significant update.
The algorithm update will provide more accurate and relevant local search results that are linked to organic search results within the Google Maps feature, also know as Google Places. This is critical for local businesses and SEOs as it appears that the two sets of search queries will now be tied more closely together. As you build authority organically, your local results should improve as well.
One of the key new features as reported by Search Engine Land is the improvement of location and distance ranking parameters, Knowledge Graph, and spelling correction which will all improve search results for relevant queries.
This update is a fundamental change and not really geared to combat spam. The new algorithm will include hundreds of search ranking signals currently used in web search and will provide much more accurate results on the local level for Google Maps and Places.