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.
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:
New Google Local Changes Everything – Search Influence
5 Quick Impacts of Google’s New Local Search Results – Matt McGee
Implications of the New Integrated Local Search Results – Mike Blumenthal
Meet the New Google Local SERPs – Andrew Shotland
Google’s New Local Results – How To Adapt – Stepforth