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From Panda to Pigeon, Why is Google Changing Their Algorithms?

Google likes being secretive. In an internet world dominated by SEO, rankings, and complicated algorithms, users don’t like change happening without their knowledge. Google has now played this trick not once, but twice.

The Mighty Pigeon

Although Google never officially named this update, groups on the web decided to nickname the algorithm update Pigeon when they started experiencing changes at the end of July 2014. The change primarily focuses on local searches. Google explained how this update links local searches more strongly with various factors like spelling, synonyms, and the Knowledge Graph.

Residents and visitors will probably enjoy finding more accurate restaurants, local attractions, and delicious desserts, but local businesses are struggling to reestablish their SEO rankings alongside Google’s new algorithm. The changes in SEO rules have created controversy, and Google remains mum on the topic, which is irritating to the tech community.

Untitled design (54)Reminiscent of Panda

On Friday, August 8, users suspect another quiet change was made, but this time possibly to the already-established Google Panda. This search engine aid started in a similar fashion as the mysterious Pigeon. In fact, the web initially nicknamed this update Farmer after Google continued to stay silent about the new search algorithm.

Panda was equally strange for users when it launched in 2011. However, it has become an integral part of Google’s quality searches since it filters through sites with subpar content or less useful information. Some chatter circles around the possibility of the Pigeon update being another Panda update, but the public won’t be certain until Google makes an official announcement.

In the meantime, Google searchers will likely benefit from the new features of this supposed update. While Google still refuses to confirm or deny whether the update occurred, many webmasters captured screen shots of graphs as proof to show large spikes in Google search results over the weekend.

Adaptation for Business

Business owners and SEO’s are scrambling to identify new methods to stay relevant through the new algorithm changes. Experts say the Pigeon update upgrades distance and location ranking parameters. While this is helpful for some businesses, the overall effect on SEO rankings poses a unique challenge. Now, businesses and SEO’s must learn new techniques for maintaining their rank despite a searcher’s location.

The big question in tech culture is why Google chooses to institute drastic changes without warning the public. Since Google search results have such a large impact on every type of business, the unannounced changes are challenging for experts and novices alike.