Google released a new update to their algorithm on July 25, 2014 – nicknamed Pigeon. The intention of the Pigeon algorithm update was to improve the local search results (a.k.a Google Maps results). Essentially, the Pigeon update takes into account the hundreds of rankings signals that the Web algorithm uses. Since there are hundreds of ranking factors used by Google, it’s impossible to say which signals they are looking for. However, there are some signals that most SEO’s know improve local search visibility. Some of those ranking signals include: Reviews, Citations (Name, Address, Phone #), keywords, inbound/outbound links, and user metrics like bounce rate and time on site.
Google’s Pigeon update is still very new, so it is way too early to speculate what this means for your local business and website. Wait a few weeks for some case studies come out before you make a change in your SEO strategy. However, remember to always keep things as natural as possible. Don’t spam, over-link or in any way abuse Google’s guidelines. You will get caught eventually and it’s not worth it!