Google’s pigeon update, which launched in the on July 24, 2014, was last month expanded to the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

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According to Google, Pigeon has the purpose of “providing a more useful and relevant experience for searchers seeking local results”. The updated search affects results within both Google Maps and Google Web Search, altering the ranking of local search results. Local results are now ranked in a similar way to regular web search results. It also improved the rankings of some major local business directories, like Yelp and Trip Advisor.

It’s too early to say what long term effect Google Pigeon will have on the ranking of local business websites but, if you’re concerned, there are some precautions you can take:

Update Your Google+/ Google Maps Page

The most important thing to do in the wake of Google Pigeon is to update (or at least spring clean) your Google+ and Google Maps pages. Make sure all the relevant information about your business is filled out, and that it is up to date. Your Google Maps pin should also show the exact location of your business.

Join Local Business Directories

Since the Pigeon update, Google search results have, in some cases, prioritised local business directories over local business websites. See if there are any directories that are suitable for listing your business on, and create an optimised page for them.

Update Contact Information

Your business’ contact information should be up to date on all the websites that feature it, be it your own website or a directory listing. Go through and make sure all the information is thorough and current, adding any extra necessary data┬áif required.