Google’s Change to Search Results Impacts Local Businesses
Google recently rolled out a major change to their search results page, specifically to the local listings ‘Map Pack’. Previously, map listings were shown in packs of 3, 5 or 7. The recent change means that map packs now only show up in packs of 3. The local pack has been redesigned to fit more within the mobile user interface, hence the change in look and feel of the new map pack.
Unfortunately this now means that if your business ranks below the top 3 local pack listings, it will fall out of the map listings pack altogether until your search engine optimisation (SEO) improves enough to overtake listings 1-3.
David Elliott, SEO & Search Product Manager at Digital Marketing Solutions provider ReachLocal offers the following tips for local businesses that may help you nab a spot in the Top 3 Local Pack Listing over time:
1. Give Google strong location signals by ensuring that your business name, address and phone number details are consistent and accurate on Google Plus, your website, and all directory citations.
2. Build up your presence on directory listings relevant to your business.
3. “Unverified” Google Plus accounts will no longer show on Google so if you want to see your 'Local Pack' rankings increase make sure you have your Google Plus account verified and fully up to date with all relevant business details.
For more information on this Google local results change and how it may affect your business listing, read ReachLocal’s blog article "Google's local map listing appearance has changed again".