New Formatting in Google Places Search Results

Over the past several weeks in Google Place results there has been numerous changes. The changes have continually been modifying the map results overall layout, number of results generating and the content displaying for each listing. The first changes that we started to notice was  the number of local search results generating on the first page changing. Please reference our post from last week about the New Ranking Formats on Google’s Local Search Results.

Several years ago when Google’s local search was new and just a map with pin drops Google would show anywhere from 1 to 10 results on the map. About a year ago Google updated the local results to display as they are now, with the business information of the results in the main content area and a corresponding map on the right-hand side of the page. These results appeared in a standard format, display either as a 7-pack, 3-pack or 1-pack.

Recently however the standard 1, 3 and 7 pack formatting has been changing. We have been tracking multiple search phrases and from our finding we have found the typical 7-pack being replaced. The new local results for searches that normally displayed a 7-pack are now showing 4-packs, 5-packs and 6-packs. This change has been very frustrating from some because searches that were showing seven results and are now showing less are bumping the end positions off the first page. We have also tracked the several search phrases that have now started displaying an 8-pack which can be seen if one searches: PR Firms San Diego CA. Click on the link to go directly to the results

Several of the changes that we have seen so far in Google’s local search formatting:

  1. Local results no longer display a short descriptions summarizing the business’s services.
  2. Some Local results have links to internal pages of the business’s website.
  3. When logged into a Google account the local results pull information from Google+.
  4. Google reviews have been given more real estate in the results and are easier to find under each business.
  5. The number of results that generate for local results is no longer a standard 1, 3 or 7-pack.

Below is an example of the new layout of Google’s local search results.

Local Search Update

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