Google Local Shakeup: 3-Pack Only, 7-Pack Removed; Addresses & Phone Numbers Gone
Google has recently changed the layout of its Search Engine Results Pages, no longer will you see a page like this:
As you can see the Google My Business results are seen with a letter next to them. Their phone number and their address. The letter that the listing is next to (ie: A) is then seen on the map on the top right-hand corner of the results page.
However Google search results pages and the Google My Business listings are seen like this:
As you can see, the location of the Google My Business has moved. No longer does it have 3 organic search results above it plus an advert. There is one listing above and no adverts.
Also, you can see the design of the physical Google My Business Listing has changed. The location and listing type have changed and the map is now in the middle of the page.
The addresses now only show the street name and not the city they are located in. The Telephone number has been removed from this Desktop search.
It also only displays the top three listing to the search query. Meaning that no long can you rank between 4-7 on the Google My Business listing and be on the first page.
Another feature that has been removed is the physical link to the Google Plus page. This means that you can have a My Business Page and rank on the first page without anyone ever seeing your page.
There have been changes to the mobile device searches as well:
Here you can see the website option has been removed and replaced with the call option. This means that a searcher does not even need, in Google eyes, to visit your site before calling you.
Another feature is the distance counter you can see next to Newcastle upon Tyne. This will allow the search to see which business is closest to them.
Having gone from 7 to 3 top results we are going to see a lot more competition and; therefore, a better search result within this part of the results page. This is a huge shake-up for local SEO and businesses, and although the impacts are not yet measurable, it will mean that you have to be top 3 and many people may resort to black hat / negative techniques to get their site there.