Local Search Shakeup For Google

We have even more big changes happening in the neighborhood space for Google local company listings. During the last month, Google began switching on the usual 7-pack local listings to  3-pack listings, AKA Bite Size local results. Which means that instead of showing 7 companies in the pack and in the map, those spots are actually only open to 3 businesses.

7-Packs Now 3-Packs

Mike Egen was the first to notice the normal 7-packs had dropped right down to only 3. The proceed to 3-packs rolled out during the the past month. And in an unusual move for local, Google launched this change both in america and internationally at once.

Exact Addresses Removed

Google has also removed particular addresses from the Bite Size listings, instead only listing the road name. This forces a searcher to either click on through to the web site or the map listing to get the exact address.

Phone Numbers Removed

Searchers won’t have easy access to the telephone number of the business enterprise. They now need to click on through to the listing or obtain the number from the web site. The mobile version doesn’t display the telephone number but has a “Call” option for every listing.

Google+ Links Removed

Also removed is the Google+ links that everyone has become familiar with. Because Search engines has pushed for local companies to claim their page formally, this change is pretty fascinating.

Store Hours Added

They have also added waiting for you hours, including starting and closing times, based on the period of the search.

Reviews Aren’t Labelled As “Google Reviews”

Gone will be the labels on the testimonials listing them as “Google Testimonials.” Now they’re simply called “reviews” with the amount of reviews for every business still included.

No Flyouts

We are used to having the ability to scroll over regional listings to start to see the local card for the business enterprise displayed on the right. This has changed, to start to see the “Card”, you have to click on through to the secondary local web page.

local search changes


Where The Clicks Go

When an user does click on through to a listing on anyplace apart from the “Website” link, searchers will discover additional nearby listings and the map. You can find twenty local listings per web page, and users can click on through to see additional ones.

The card on the right is comparable to what we normally would have viewed as the flyout on the serp’s result page.

local search changes

How it Looks on Mobile

Mobile also sees the address moved, with “Call” being the notable option here.

local search mobile


For a comparison, here’s how it used to look as a 7-pack, for exactly the same local search.

3 local searches

You can see the entire address, the Google+ web page and the reviews.

And this is the same search now:

local search now

With so many companies used to being presented in a seven-pack which are now completely replaced by the three-pack, we will see much more competition for all those three spots, and potentially even more spam or negative SEO efforts in an attempt to compensate for this.

This is what google had to say: 

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.

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