Google has rolled out another worldwide Local Search Result page update which effects how Local Businesses show up & thereby affecting the leads.
Back in December 2013, Google rolled out an identical search result layout for Hospitality Related search queries
The latest update to Local Stack imitates the above layout which means that instead of 7 Google+ Local Listings that used to show up for searches is no more. This is how the old 7 Listing Pack used to look like:-
What Changed With Google’s 3 Pack Result Page Update?
However, the latest 3 Pack Stack is showing on 3 results & thats not all…
There are a few other changes to the Local Result page that are bound the affect the number of calls/leads local businesses were procuring by ranking well for their Local searches.
Some notable changes are:-
a) Visibility Of Business Address
Google’s Local results no longer display address against the listing. Only once the users click through “either” of the 3 Listings available on page one – addresses are visible.
b) Visibility Of Business Phone Numbers
To find out phone number for a listing showing up on page 1 of Google Results, a user now needs to click through the first page and then land on Google’s Local Finder which has striking similarity with AirBnB’s old listing page.
c) Google Local Finder Gains Importance
In the old 7 pack setting, all the links that showed up for a Local Listing including – photos, reviews etc – used to take users in different directions (towards different sources). However, now, all links point to Google Local Finder. Local finder shows 7 listings in top fold and 20 below fold as you scroll down.
d) Google+ Is Walking Dead
Google Plus has been walking deal for long now. All the recent updates that came from Google regarding Google+’s fate stand to confirm this fact. This is confirmed in the latest 3 Stack Update as links that were going out to Google+ pages are simply not there anymore.
It would be interesting to see how above changes affect Traffic Analytics for different businesses competing for Local Results on Google.
Most Local SEOs like Mike Blumenthal are convinced that the local search war is only going to get more brutal. Even going as far as terming this update as a Crap Pack.
What about you? Are you a fan of this update? How has this update affected your traffic as a local business? Let us know in the comments below.