As some of you may have noticed, Google has made yet another update to their local listings. For a long time searchers relied on Local packs that showed up to 7 listings for a given keyword. Google has been testing a new format over the last couple months and has finally launched this new design for all local searches last night.
Below is what the 7 Pack looked like:
Below is what the new “Local Stack” looks like:
As you can see there are many differences to this new design. First you will notice that Google no longer shows the customers phone number. This is the biggest concern we as local marketers have with this new update. We feel by not showing the number it could provide a poor customer experience and lead to fewer calls to local businesses.
In addition to not showing phone numbers the next obvious difference is the number of results has been reduced to only 3. For a long time Google would show 3-7 listings in the local pack. Now that Google has reduced that number, some local businesses that used to show up on the first page in the local pack will no longer show up in the local pack.
All in all the local search community is not happy with this change. We feel that this change will even further alienate Google from the local business owner. Other than the design change itself we don’t expect any changes in algorithm and what it takes to get a website listed to Google. You still need quality content, accurate and consistent local listings and links to rank on Google.