Last week I posted some theories on why Google’s Pigeon update may have hurt the local rankings for some big local brands. While we have seen a lot of positive rankings improvements for our local clients, we have also heard of some large multi-location brands that got hit with 5-10% traffic losses. My take was that the combination of overweighting of Google’s brand algorithm and the narrowing of the radius for many local queries could have pushed some of these big brands out of the local packs. Today James Robinson adds a new piece to the puzzle:
— James Robinson (@jamesr990) November 5, 2014
According to James:
“This came up in a call back we had with GMB support the other day. They were saying that big local brands have been slower to be upgraded to Google +, and there is a ranking benefit to being upgraded. So big brands (bulk managing their listings) are at a disadvantage based on that.”
Mike Blumenthal recently mentioned on his great Local U Forum that Google is upgrading the simplest cases first. This means that multi-location businesses that have a lot of complexity (e.g. multiple owners, lots of conflicting data, etc.) are going to be the last to be upgraded. Our advice to these businesses has been to sit tight. Those that try to delete their locations and start all over again, most likely increase the complexity and get sent to the back of the line.
So I suppose if in fact the upgrade does improve rankings, then they would be at a disadvantage and can’t do a thing about it. Now that’s some serious Pigeon crap.