Google is changing the way local search results are displayed for users and that change isn’t a small one.  Many have been waiting for the shift as Google has been working hard to strengthen their Google Places offering in 2010.

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In looking at the changes and digesting the numerous experts blogging on their take, it’s a move I both like and dislike (shocking right?).  I like the fact that it puts more emphasis on local search in general, people are taking note and it’s a buzz topic for the time being. Local is not stale, it’s growing at a feverish pace.

I dislike the results being more a mash-up of organic and local with a local map results sandwiched in the middle of organic results.  I think it will confuse a user to some extent, I liked the old separation, but I’m sure more movement is coming though.  I might soften over time though too. 🙂

You’ll notice the results from the Google Place pages are aimed to bring more of their information to the forefront.  Reviews, review sources and a photo now can accompany the search result displayed.  Your local listing, data and result is more important than ever.

Other posts you should read on the Google Local Search results change:

Combine this local search results change along with tags and Place Search, you see where the focus in search is right now. LOCAL.

2 Comments

  1. I’m torn and definitely agree on the mash-up. It can be confusing to the user and took me a bit to see which links go to a website or its Google Place page.I was going to blog on this as well, maybe I still will. Dunno. If you do a branded search, it appears you still get your 1-box or 3-pack if you have multiple locations. Then you’ll probably have a separate organic result. More real estate. Yay!Most unbranded searches give me what you’re showing – combining local and organic results into 1 listing. Maybe this is Google’s way to entice more paid listings? I really don’t know.A twist. Just did the standard unbranded “minneapolis pizza” search which still shows the local 7-pack and separate organic results. Strange, and we’ll all probably know more in a month. Great post as always, Aaron!

  2. Thanks Paul. I too ran across searches behaving and laying out differently yesterday. I’m thinking it’s a timing deal, but we’ll see as the weeks wear on.I”m really happy with where are clients are falling as we’ve always balanced local along with organic … so their mesh has fared well for us.I’m also surprised at some of the stacking of directories in smaller areas … I thought they would discount those more. Stay tuned, right?!?!

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