Oh my goodness! They’ve done it again. Google has changed up their search results this time combining giving more priority to local search.

Local search results have been combined with organic results for a while now, but it looked more like this:

google local search original

There used to be a little thing called the onebox that showed condensed local search results next to the map.

Well starting last Friday Google has started transitioning to this new format for search results:

new google local search results

So, we’ve got some major changes going on here:

  • Almost the entire first page is a combination of web and local results
  • The map is on the right and moves down the page as you scroll
  • Pictures are displayed next to each local result.
  • There is a quick link to reviews for each local result
  • The business information is listed for each local result
  • There is a new link off to the left to bring up local results only

Here is a closer shot for you:

google's new local search results

So what does this mean for you as a concerned business owner?

  • You need to have a strong Google Places presence as well as an optimized web site. Just having one or the other pushes you down the page.
  • Make sure there are lots of positive reviews out there. Not only are your reviews in Google Local easily accessed by a link on the right but there are links to other prominent review sites (look at the second one down).
  • Have a nice picture with your local listing. Now that pictures are shown with search results it could affect how many clicks you’re getting. Make it look attractive and professional.

This is all still a work in process. Not all results are displayed this way and Google is still playing around with it. But from the looks of it this is the way Google’s new search results are going.

Jamie Bates