Search engine results keep on evolving to provide users with the best experience during search queries. Google’s latest update presents a new way for local business information to display in search results.
One of the biggest impacts of the Google update is the reduction from seven results to three results in the “local pack.” Some are referring this as the “Snack Pak.” The new 3-pack results, are bringing users the same experience they have been getting on mobile devices for some time now, so for most of us, this is not a completely new experience.
This translates into stronger competition for your partners to maintain their online visibility at a local level. This could mean less calls for those that fell below the top 3 results, and more calls for those within the first 3 spots. To compliment your partner’s overall digital marketing success in light of Google’s new update, you may consider offering other programs like directory listings, reputation management, paid search and video advertising programs. Specifically, through a Directory Listings program, you can get optimized profiles for your local partners, increasing their chances of getting into the newly smaller local pack, not only for Google’s results, but in other search engines. The program also creates citations or mentions of your business in multiple directories around the web. Businesses with a greater number of citations tend to rank higher on search engine results pages. With Google limiting user’s options in the local results, this is a great way for your brand to take advantage of organic results.
The business information previously displayed in local results were also affected by the update. Address, phone number and images have been removed from many local search results. In order to get this information, searchers have to click on the actual profile.
This new prominence for local business results means that web-only businesses that have focused on traditional search optimization for the last several years – as a result, built up tremendous authority and visibility – could now be pushed down the page by as many as three rank positions by companies with a well-optimized local physical presence. This update represents a big opportunity for corporations with physical locations and smaller independent retailers to monitor and optimize their online presence.
This is not the first change of Google’s, and it certainly is not going to be the last.
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.”