Many of our clients pride themselves on the fact that they are in the local map pack on Google. However, Google has just updated their local pack and have condensed these results from seven down to three. That means visibility has now decreased by 57%. This is huge news for local businesses trying to rank in Google local search as it has now become that much more competitive.
If you are in the 1-3 spot this may seem like great news to you and could provide you more business, but it also means it may be harder to stay in the map pack long-term.
The Issues with The New Map Pack
We did a search for “Ft. Lauderdale injury lawyer” and came up with the following map pack. Even if you are still in the map pack, you may be concerned with the following updates.
- No Full Address
Why does Google think it is helpful to only provide the street the business is on and not the actual address? If you are located on a major street, like many businesses are, the street alone is not going to give you a detailed enough description of where the business is actually located.
- No Phone Number
Requiring the user to click on the business in order to view the phone number is an unnecessary step. It should be easily available and removing it from search makes the results less friendly and frustrating. At least they show the phone number on mobile.
- Hard to Find Reviews
Finding reviews is now a two click process. Before this update, you could click on the link to reviews or the Google+ page. Now you must click on the business and click once again on Google reviews. Due to the recent changes with Google+, all links have been removed which is most likely why reviews are now harder to locate.
- Larger Appearance
The size of the map pack is much larger in appearance. It doesn’t necessarily look bad, but they could have certainly added two more businesses just by making it slightly smaller.
Are Bing Local Results Now Better Than Google?
We’d like to see these changes reverted. The new map pack does not make the search results easier to navigate and they require the end user to put forth more effort, not less. In fact, we almost prefer Bing results now with 4-5 options, full address and phone number. That seems easier to us.
What Do You Think?
Do you think the new changes to the map pack have made it better? Voice your opinion in the comments below or catch us on social media.