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Google Local Search Update

By now you may have noticed a change in Google’s local search results.  On August 6th, Google released an update to the way in which it displays business options for locally focused searches. The primary change is that we no longer see the familiar 5-pack or 7-pack of results because Google has reduced the pack to three featured businesses. It is also no longer showing the phone numbers for the businesses.

google local search screenshot

 

Beneath the three pack, users see a link for more options. (More pharmacies in the example above) Clicking on this link provides a list of 20 other businesses instead of the previous 10.

The businesses that appear in the 3-pack seems to be heavily based on the searcher’s location. Similarly, the list of 20 is ordered according to physical proximity to the searcher.

google local search screenshot

 

According to Upright local search expert, Colleen Frye, this change will likely mean more opportunity for visibility for more local businesses, with results being more evenly spread out according to geography. While there is more opportunity to appear in the list of 20, landing a spot in the top three will be very competitive. Regarding what businesses should do in response to the update, she explains:

“Now more than ever it will be important for business owners to claim and fill out Google My Business listings. Reviews are also going to be a critical aspect to succeeding in this new pack listing structure.”

As your SEO team, we stay on top of developments like Google updates so you can stay focused on your business. If you have additional questions regarding this update or any other local listing questions, just give us a call.