Google shakes up local results with the 7-pack now becoming the 3-pack in the Google Maps section of organic results. As mobile continues to increase in usage, Google is continues to change their desktop results to be more in line with the appearance of mobile-specific search results hence the change from showing 7 local results in the Google Maps section to 3 results.
Queries with local intent will now only display 3 businesses in the Google Maps section compared to the previous 7 listings. Not only is the “local pack” now showing less results it is also redesigned to fit more with the mobile user interface.
Here is a picture of what the new local pack looks like with only three results.
Compare it to results from last year for a local search that displayed 7 results with a different layout.
So what prompted Google to make such a drastic change in the way they show results in Google Maps for local searches? According to a Google spokesperson:
“We are constantly exploring the best way to bring a better search experience to our users. This update provides people with more relevant information, including photos, reviews and prices, for searches that have multiple results for a given location.”
While this change does give desktop users with the same user experience as mobile users, it could drastically impact the visibility and ultimately the amount of new business that businesses who normally showed in results 4-7 of the local pack get moving forward. Even of those businesses ranking in spots 4-7 were not getting a ton of clicks, they were still getting exposure and a branding opportunity. Now they are missing out on that important branding.
With these recent changes in Google Maps, it’s more important than ever for local businesses like medical and dental practices to make SEO an important part of their marketing strategy.
About Alan Moore: Alan started his career in 1999 as an Marketing Consultant and is the owner of www.ExtraPatients.com. Over the years, he has migrated his focus of expertise to everything digital. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $3,600,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation for your practice.
To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit:http://searchengineland.com/google-updates-the-local-pack-showing-3-instead-of-7-local-results-227368