Have you searched for a local business recently? Was the display the same as you remember? Probably not!
You know that Google continuously alters their algorithm to improve user experience. After all, the customers who searched for your business online were Google customers first. However, the latest change involved the Google Local Search display.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the changes you’ll notice when you search for your business:
- The display format is different depending on the type of business. Don’t be surprised if the restaurant next door or auto repair shop across the street don’t experience the latest changes in the same way as your business. Businesses may experience all or only some of these changes.
- The “7-pack” is now the “3-pack.” Only three businesses will be listed with the option for searchers to click for more results. This means that search engine optimization is more important than ever.
- The addresses and phone numbers have been removed. This change seems to be the most inconsistent. Some business still show both, some one or the other, and some have none. It’s debatable whether or not Google will keep this change. But if they do… addresses and phone numbers will be harder for searchers to find, and you may get fewer calls directly from the search results. But it could increase website traffic when searchers want to contact your business.
- There’s a large map with business locations in the search box. It takes up a bulky section above the fold, along with additional ad space. Local ad spend may need to increase to maintain consistent website traffic.
- The review stars have been removed for brand searches… for businesses with fewer than five reviews. If searchers want to read reviews, they’ll need to click through to the review sites. This may increase the chances that a searcher will contact your business as they won’t be immediately influenced by reviews.
- The display format for your business is the same on desktop and mobile. This was the end goal for Google! Mobile search has always shown only three results. Now the number of results is consistent with desktop. Keep in mind that the results may still be different depending on the responsiveness of your website.
If you have any questions about how the new Google Local Search display affects your digital marketing strategy, contact your Customer Success Team.