Google has launched a complete update to the local ranking algorithm of it which has comprehensively changed the face of the local search results. The changes left most of the local businesses and companies reeling with several websites dropping out of the first pages of the search results for their used keywords. The conventional “7-pack of the local map results has gone” and it was replaced by “the new 3-pack results” which don’t contain business telephone numbers and address details. This has a significant effect on local SEO.
Google took another step between users that are able to contact the local businesses from the search results at no charge. When you are not in the leading 3, it means that your business has been removed and your business will never be seen for local terms.
What Was Changed in this Update?
The address information, telephone numbers and the link to your page on Google+ will not be displayed anymore in local SEO search results. It would trigger a significant effect on the way that users are interacting with the local results and will put a more huge emphasis on being included in the leading 3 pages of the search results in terms of local SEO. This new 3-pack will encourage the internet users to hit for more local search results.
It is not good for average users since it demands another click so he or she can see the information and it further positions the search engine as the middle man between the local businesses and the internet users. This seems that Google would be obliging the local businesses to pay to play within the local market and might even begin charging the businesses for the phone calls made from the search results in days to come.
What Does It Mean for the Local Businesses?
It means that when you are not included in the first 3 then you start working on your local SEO game. It seems that the update would place more emphasis on getting the reviews and building out the business’ citation profile. On the other hand, it will be very interesting and great to view how this will work as it does not appear like the upgrade for the searchers and users and it is more the enhancement for the bottom line of the search engine itself while more businesses would be required to move to AdWords platform.
Where’s Google Heading?
The local SEO results head towards the pay to play scheme wherein Google would look to charge for the local listings and just the qualified professionals with a specific area will be shown in the first pages. While the upgrade possibly is not the right options for users, it is the platform of Google and they could what they want and the company attempts to monetize the local network that provides free web traffic to most local businesses for a very long time. For the small businesses, the stakes were raised and you better work to be included in the leading 3 or else you will not be able to get traffic and your business will not be visible anymore.
More About Google Snack Pack