The Pigeon update is not a website-penalizing update websites like the Panda or Penguin updates, but a change in the way Google’s search engine works. This update was released on July 24th for English language search results in the USA.
Information about this update was originally provided by Google to Search Engine Land (http://searchengineland.com/google-makes-significant-changes-local-search-ranking-algorithm-197778)
Official statements made by Google:
- The update affects normal search results and Google Maps search results.
- The update improves local result accuracy (in terms of correctness, as well as radius and user location identification).
- “Local search results are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals”.
- The update caused a more comprehensive appearance of the knowledge graph.
Additional influences that were reported following this update:
- The update gives priority to large local indices over local business websites (with Yelp being a good example after leaping in rankings as a result of the update)
- A large increase in the amount of keywords that include results from Google Places.
- In many cases 7-packs Google Places results for local businesses have turned to 3-packs or disappeared altogether.