Google released a new ranking algorithm, called Pigeon on July 24th. Although that event is slightly outside of this roundup’s timeframe, not many people noticed the shake up at the time and commentary and analysis only started to emerge over the past week.

Small to medium law firms get the vast majority of their clients from their local area, and so Pigeon‘s specialization – local searches – should interest you greatly.  Search Engine Watch, The Moz Blog and Search Engine Land will help you understand the latest changes in local search processing.

Google “Pigeon” Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signal

This Search Engine Land article was the first to notice the update and attempt to explain it. Reading this piece will help you get grounding in the purpose of the Pigeon algorithm. This article doesn’t contain any analysis or technical specifications, so a non-technical law partner or practice manager should be able to digest it easily.

The Month Google Shook the SERPs

Moz got one of its marketing scientists, Dr. Peter J. Meyers, to write this article covering a number of recent search engine changes. Pigeon is the last of the four major recent changes wrought by the search engine that Dr Meyers classifies as a shake up. As a scientist, Dr Meyers illustrates his writing with graphs. Don’t let this put you off if you are not technically minded, though. The main thrust of his Pigeon analysis focuses on pins on Google maps that represent multiple businesses. This will be of interest to you if your offices are in a building that houses many other law practices.

Expedia Becomes A New York City Hotel After Google’s Pigeon Local Update

Google didn’t come up with the name “Pigeon,” Search Engine Land did – and they have been crowing about it ever since. This second article on the topic from SEL covers the inevitable glitches that emerged with Pigeon, as with just about every other new ranking algorithm. New algorithm updates take about a week to settle in, so if your law firm’s rankings have suddenly gone haywire, don’t worry too much.

Experts Weigh In On Google’s “Pigeon” Update Aimed At Improving Local Search Results

SEL pounded the Pigeon again with this piece at the end of July. Here, a number of SEO consultants weigh in with their analysis of the initial impact of the algorithm. You will see a lot of references to “packs” in this article – this means when one pin on a map represents several different businesses.

Is Google’s New Local Algorithm ‘Pigeon’ for the Birds?

One of the experts featured in the above SEL article, Mike Blumenthal, is the primary source for this Search Engine Watch analysis of Pigeon. Law practitioners with little technical knowledge should find this article easy to understand.

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