For a little while now, we’ve been hearing about this new algorithm that Google released on June 24, 2014. We know the name of the algorithm, and it’s name is Pigeon. The idea behind Pigeon was that it would help “lead to a more useful and relevant experience for searchers seeking local results.
Because the algorithm is still brand new, is it really all the surprising that there would be bugs present? Of course not. Since we’re talking about an online service (in this case a search engine with an infinite amount of searches happening all the time), it’s interesting the amount of weird things that can happen when a lot of users get together and begin using it.
If you were to do a search for New York Hotels, you’ll find that Expedia has suddenly become not a travel site that dabbles in hotels, but an actual hotel in New York. Go ahead, check it out. Follow the link and see for yourself. I’ll wait right here. Trust me, I’m as shocked as you are if this were really the case, and not just an algorithm bug.
So what’s causing Expedia to appear as a hotel on Google? Well, it seems that normally, Expedia’s Google+ local listing is listed in the travel category. But somebody at Google decided that it should be changed to the “Corporate Headquarters” category. If this were to get fixed, then the issue should theoretically get fixed, and Expedia shouldn’t appear in the results for that query, over time.
Google does know of this issue, and they agree that this was not the outcome they expected when they released the local search algorithm. Naturally, fixes will come that will correct things like this in the future.