Posted November 4, 2011 8:17 am by with 1 comment

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While there is plenty of conversation surrounding the new “Fresh” update from Google regarding search and even some early solutions being offered there is another change happening in the SERP’s as well. It’s around local results and local SEO”s are going to need to pay close attention.

We reported about expanded local search results for branded searches the other day. The new look of a search for a specific place or business now places Google Place Page data on the search result page itself thus alleviating the need for the searcher to click through to place page which, in the past, was not always well done from a user’s perspective.

Now, in addition to this new look, Google has changed the traditional red pin map approach and turned the little buggers gray! Don’t worry though, they don’t stay gray forever. Google has now made it that when you mouse over the result the pin gets “happy” and turns red! Here’s a look. Notice too where the address information is occurring. (Click image to enlarge)

Google is now realizing that the visual cues it offers its users could very well lead to a click. When you mouse over a local result and something about that result, in essence, lights up then you have an eye catching experience which could mean conversion.

The final piece of the puzzle is what can happen if a local business is not keeping its place page information fresh with photos etc. You are leaving opportunity on the table because the new local search result layout is showcasing the data a business has in its place page information. Look below at what opportunity exists below to add more photos, hours of operation etc. (Click image to enlarge).

That is essentially the week in review for local search. Are you paying attention?

Pin Image Credit – Blumenthals

  • With all the efforts that Google is putting into Google Places Listings, almost taking over page1 for Local search results. With expanded Places display, a smaller initial map and more Ads, the mouse over color change to attract attention. It will be soon the case that without a Google Places listing there will be no chance of being on page1 for local organic results.

    Whilst this is an ideal scenario for Local Businesses with a Listing it does beg the question “is Google going to monopolize search results”? At this point when only Places listings are shown on Page1 will Google start charging for the pleasure and clicks? $33 Billion per quarter is not enough.

    In the future there will be no need for a regular website as Google Places listings are Mobile optimized and already PPC to non Mobile friendly landing pages are being penalized with a lower quality score, leading to higher costs per click. All SEO work will, as you have said, have to be carried out on the Google Places Page.

    If your business is Local and produces a map when your industry is searched for, not having a Places listing is online suicide. Make sure you claim yours.