This past August 6, 2015 Google once again shook the local marketing community after changing the face of its local search results page in all platforms worldwide. Rather than the usual 7-pack look, the search engine giant replaced it with a concise 3-pack version. In less than 24 hours, the once sought-after top 7 list became history.
The New Google 3-Pack Local Search
According to Google, as cited in Search Engine Land, the update was part of their efforts in looking for ways to improve the online search experience of users. With a new face, local SEO may now provide searchers with more useful information, which includes reviews, prices and photos, particularly for queries with multiple results per location. Meanwhile, an article from Moz explained that Google may have created this development for easier mobile adaptability.
With a growing mobile usage, it makes sense that Google will develop ways for the convenience of this platform. Having only the top three results at the top area of the search engine results page (SERP’s) is a lot easier to view instead of the former. Moreover, Google also structured it the same way in all handheld devices, whether it be for smart phones, desktop or tablet, which creates uniformity in user experience.
Here is how the local pack appears on desktop now:
It is expected that businesses who aren’t in the top 3 slots, but in the former top 7 will now receive less traffic. Those who really took a hit, though, are websites from companies which have been formerly penalized by either Panda or Penguin. They may still sustain if they land in the 3-pack, otherwise they will be buried both in organic and local search results.
Notable Changes in the Update
A significant feature in the 3-pack is a ratings option where consumers may select businesses within a specified range of ratings, which will most likely be two to four stars and higher. This option will only appear in highly-populated places or with tight competition in the market. Though this rating selection is yet to be released throughout the globe, it’ll be better for your business in Atlanta if you begin developing search engine optimization strategies for it now.
To seamlessly fit in smaller screens, only important details of the 3-pack are displayed, excluding the businesses’ complete addresses. This means that you will only see the address of a particular business once you’ve brought up its card listing page, but the rest will only give you street names.
With this rollout, it has become more important than ever to seek help from digital marketing agencies with expert SEO services like YEAH! Local for the sustainability of your business in Atlanta.
If you feel your Local SEO may be failing give us a call or setup a time to talk for a free consultation.
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Google’s Local Snack Pack Shake-Up: What You Need to Know, Moz.com
Google Updates the “Local Pack” Showing 3 Results Instead Of 7, Searchengineland.com
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