What Your Brand Needs to Know About Google’s New Local Search Display Format

Last month Google revealed a new local search display format that’s simply destined to have a major impact on sales and business at the local level.

Unlike many of Google’s previous revisions, in which the search engine powerhouse revised ranking factors and formulas, this update specifically impacts the way local business information is displayed on the search engine results page (SERP).

To put it simply, Google’s “Local Pack” now lists substantially fewer businesses: just 3 opposed to the previous 7.

Prior to this change, Google’s SERP displayed an array of organic and local results. A typical search yielded seven local results (deemed the “7-Pack”). Now that the number of results has been axed to only list a “3-Pack”, users (i.e. potential customers) have the option to click to view more results (see the graphic below). 9-29-15 New Google Local Display Format

And while having the um, let’s face it, underwhelming option to click ‘More’ is certainly “nice”, it’s safe to say most users (i.e. potential customers) simply won’t take the extra step to locate additional locations and providers. Meaning that if your brand’s local locations fail to land in the top three highly competitive and coveted spots, you’ll lose valuable visibility and thus, critical sales.

While, at first glance, Google’s revamp may appear seemingly “small”, don’t be fooled. These updates are already having – and will continue to have – a major impact on national brands across industries. Ultimately, if your brand includes a channel of local dealers, affiliates, or suppliers, and you’ve relied primarily on organic search up to this point your brand stands to lose the most. There has never been a more crucial time to invest in local paid search

To ensure your brand doesn’t see a plummet in phone calls, local foot traffic, and overall sales check out this new report: Why a Local Search Strategy is Critical for National Brands.