Google changes local search results – What you need to know

Google changes local search results – What you need to know

If you’ve been Googling the past few weeks, you might have noticed a slight difference in the Google search results. This is because Google changed the appearance of the local results as of 6 August. A local search on Google is a search term that includes a product or service + area e.g. typing in “website design Vanderbijlpark” in the Google search bar. Google then suggests businesses in that area in the local results.

The regular 7 local listings have now decreased to a 3 Pack local result. This slight change in result, can have a big impact on your website though… If your website was listed in the old 7 stack result for a relevant keyword search, but beyond the first three, this means that you might have lost your spot on the first page of Google. And the consequences – potentially less traffic to your website from Google search results.

Google local change – Part of a bigger picture

It is speculated that this change in the Google local result is part of a much bigger picture. Google is changing the desktop results of Google local search result to look more similar to that of the mobile search results.

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Old 7 Stack Google Local results [Source: www.jhwebworks.com]

The old version of the 7 stack Google local result used to feature an address and telephone number. This has now changed to featuring business hours and street names, as well as Directions and Website buttons. This means that the user now has to click on the listing in order to get the contact information – a deliberate alteration by Google – giving website owners better measurability when it comes to search conversions and leads generated from Google search results.

Another very distinct change is that these local search results no longer direct users to the company’s Google+ page, supporting the claims that Google is cutting all ties with Google+, and separating Google+ from Google local listings. Users are now directed to a page that gives them the complete list of Google local results. Mobile results appear similar to desktop results, with a Call button and hidden phone number.

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New 3 Stack Google Local results [Source: www.businessfluid.com]

Being knocked off page 1 of Google’s Search Engine Ranking Position

So you’ve noticed that you’ve lost your position on page one of Google’s Search Engine Ranking? Don’t despair – all is not lost! With today’s online marketing efforts and opportunities, there are ways to get your website more visible to potential customers online, and to get on page one of Google once again. This might entail a bit of work, and an online marketing budget.

Search Engine Optimisation and Google Adwords are two sure ways to get more traffic to your website, and both have returned valuable results for many companies. If your website is not reaching your anticipated goals regarding visitors and sales leads, it might be time to try a new online marketing avenue.

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SEO vs Adwords

 

 

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