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What Your Dealership Needs to Know About the Google Pigeon Update

Colleen Harris, Search Engine Optimization Specialist
by Colleen Harris, Search Engine Optimization Specialist

In the ever changing land of Google search, they’ve shaken up the rankings again, but this time with a focus on the local search listings. Nicknamed the “Pigeon update” by Search Engine Land, the bulk of the change isn’t one the searcher sees.

By adding name, address, phone and a map, local search results now mimic organic search results more. So what does this all mean?

One of the golden rules of SEO, consistent Name, Address and Phone number (NAP), is relevant once again. The first item to check is the Knowledge Graph for your dealership. Google loves to reward its own products, so a fully optimized knowledge graph can go a long way. Google is also rewarding directories like Yelp in search results, so making sure the NAP is consistent across the different directories becomes more important.

The biggest update for a dealership listing and the “7 pack” of local results is that a search on the desktop is starting to mirror mobile search results. Setting our browser location to “San Francisco” and searching for a “Kia Dealership,” the search results start with the “7 Pack.”

Bringing that search down to a more local neighborhood, we see a different set of results – based off the locations around the Bay Area.

So as you take stock of your listings and optimization changes, be aware of the neighborhoods and other terms people in your area might use to search.

As with anything in Google, the landscape is always changing, and I’m sure there is more to come with this. If you have specific questions, reach out to your SEO specialist or website administrator.

So what do you think? Will this bird fly?

About the Author

Colleen Harris, Search Engine Optimization Specialist Colleen Harris joined Cobalt in March 2013 as a Search Engine Optimization Specialist. Prior to joining the Cobalt team, she worked in digital marketing in the healthcare industry and entertainment industry. She brings a passion for link building and content creation, and has been referred to here at Cobalt as the “Google Whisperer.” She has a BA from Carroll College in Communications and Religious Studies. Her first car was a 1993 Chevrolet Corsica, which she drove till the head gasket cracked and the engine blew in the middle of rush hour traffic. Feel free to reach out directly to Colleen at

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Tags: SEO, google, pigeon, search, updates, yelp


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Comment by on August 19, 2014 at 6:38pm

@Manny - I just did the same longtail search and only got two video results, so perhaps the results we're seeing differ due to the fact that Google is localizing the results per our locations (I'm in CA).

Comment by on August 19, 2014 at 6:37pm

@Manny - Results look good, but your screenshot validated my statement of how they're giving more weight to YouTube as opposed to other video sites and/or sites with authority who also have video.

Comment by CDK Global on August 19, 2014 at 3:01pm

Thanks for reaching out Manny. We are working through the standard processes with the OEM to have the 2015 models up as soon as possible. We understand the sense of urgency and are working quickly to resolve. Thank you for your patience. 

Comment by Brian Bennington on August 15, 2014 at 5:16pm

In answer to this blog's final question, "Will this bird fly?", my response has to be, "Compared to what"?  Once upon a time nearly 20 years ago, I worked with a great bunch of guys at Cobalt eager to help when I designed two websites for a Lexus dealer client.  Now, after regularly reading the Cobalt posts on ADM, I have this deep dark feeling that money has moved to the forefront of their operation, but maybe that's just me?  I never had any further need of their services (the marketing I specialize in doesn't use the Internet) so my feelings are based on a "Then and Now" comparison, and ADM members like J.D., Manny, Andrew and Ralph, because of their regular exposure to Cobalt, have a much better understanding of where they're coming from.

I do think that as "vendor attrition" reduces the number of their competitors, they'll not only survive, they'll prosper.  An upside of making 'Money" the #1 goal of your organization is that, if you reach it, you'll outlive your competitors even if your product isn't as good as theirs.  With enough money, you can cover any mistake, and if you doubt that, just look at our government.  Of note, Colleen's bio mentioned her first car was a 1993 Chevy Corsica, which is just not right.  No legitimate car person would ever admit to owing one, let alone standing next to it waiting for a wrecker in rush hour traffic.  They would either immediately walk away from it denying any ownership of it, or slip into the back seat and "open a wrist" before a crowd gathered!  Thinking about it, I'm glad Colleen survived.  But, she should have waited until after the Corsica story before asking the "Will this bird fly" question. 



Comment by on August 15, 2014 at 4:43pm

This latest update saw some changes to the way Google is handling video search results as well. They're giving a lot more weight to YouTube, at the same time, lessening the amount of video results. Big hit for the VSEO'ers out there who have spent a lot of time building their own authority for video on their sites.

Comment by Rajesh Sood on August 14, 2014 at 10:57pm

Articles n ADM seemed to be full of knowledge, but of late they have become pithy and less useful. It's time to tighten screws on content quality

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