New Local Results! Be in the Top 3 or Disappear?

Ranking high in Google’s localized results has always been important to display on the first page. But are your chances getting smaller? Yesterday we reported that we started seeing the new 3 pack mobile style layout for attorneys start appearing on Desktop searches.

The new results  are very different from the previous results as you can see in the screenshot below:

New Google Three Pack Local LIsting

 

This new listing result has a lot of new changes. While obviously the layout and number of listings is way different than previous results you will also notice that there is no mention of your Google + page and you can’t even access it from these results. With the demise of Google + on the horizon it will be interesting to see what happens to all those optimized pages.

The new listing example has three places where you can decide to click:

1) The listing itself – which we will look at below:

2) Website – You’re company’s linked website

3) Directions – Directions which takes you to Google Maps where you can get directions.

However, what’s noticeably missing is the phone number for local businesses. In fact, to find the phone number or reviews for the business you need to click on the result itself (not the website or directions button). Once you do this it will take you to the results page which looks like this:

click example 3 pack local

This is a completely different direction than the older Google + style because now when a client clicks on your listing and is taken to this page your competition with their reviews are also shown.

One question that keeps popping up in my head is: Will potential clients now click on more listings and read more reviews from your competition because it’s so easily put in front of them?

It will be interesting to test the user behavior on this new pack to see the navigation cycle of potential clients. So while it may not be the end of the world if you’re not ranking in the top three results you won’t be showing up in the actual search results unless you get there.

While there is no official answer from Google yet as to if this is a full rollout we should know more soon.

What are your thoughts of these new changes and how do you think they will affect your local traffic? Are you a fan or not?

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Casey Meraz

Casey is the founder and president of Ethical SEO Consulting and Juris Digital based in Denver, CO. Casey's specialties are in organic and local SEO. He is a regular contributor to the Moz Blog and the author of How To Perform The Ultimate Local SEO Audit. If you have an SEO question or need advice please feel free to reach out by email: cmeraz@jurisdigital.com. Follow Casey on Twitter @CaseyMeraz.