Once again, there are some really big changes taking place with the Google search engine. This time the changes are in reference to the 7 pack that has been replaced in Google local search.
In the past, when one would search for a local keyword phrase, they would immediately be greeted by a 7 pack of local listings. As of about two weeks ago, Google has once again changed the way that it delivers the local search listings and it has eliminated the 7 pack altogether.
While Google local search listings have not disappeared completely, they have severely limited the amount of local searches that appear at the top of the page. Google now only delivers 3 listings as opposed to the 7 that we have been used to for so long.
They’ve also made other important changes that you should learn about in regards to the local listings, and we will share that information with you in full detail below.
For now, just know that Google local search has changed in significant ways. If you rely on search traffic for your local business, this information will have an effect on your business. So please pay attention.
The Snack Pack and Other Local Changes
Well, savvy Internet marketers are now calling the diminished former 7 Pack the Snack Pack since Google is only sharing 3 results as part of this change. But this is just one change of many.
The full list of Google local search engine results changes include:
- The Snack Pack – first off, the usual 7 pack of results has dropped down to only 3 results in recent weeks. Google thoroughly rolled out this major change around August 6, 2015. What’s very unusual is the way Google rolled out this major change. They usually roll out a change like this slowly, but Google did things differently this time. They rolled out the change in the US and internationally all at once. Very rare for Google, but it is what it is.
- Removal of the exact address – another major change to the Google local results is that Google has removed specific addresses from the listings in the new Snack Pack. Now, instead of listing the entire address, Google is only listing the street name and nothing more. We believe that Google wants searchers to click through to the website map, hence the reason for removing the address. If the searcher wants more information, they can click through to the local website or the map to find out further details about the listing.
- Removal of phone numbers – once again, Google has removed the phone number of the local business that previously showed up in the listing. We also believe that this has to do with getting the user to click on the link that will either take them to the business’s website or the local map that provides much more detailed information.
- Removal of Google + links – another major change is that Google has removed the links to Google + which we are all very familiar with at this point. This is a pretty interesting change since Google is pushing local businesses to officially claim their page.
- Store hours have been added to the listings – the next major change is the addition of store hours. The Google Snack Pack results now provide the searcher with additional store hours that include opening and closing times. This is an interesting feature that many searchers will find very beneficial, especially if they are looking for a store that is closing around the time that they intended to get there.
- “Google Reviews” label removed – as far as reviews about each listing are concerned, Google has removed the “Google Reviews” label from the listing. Now they are simply titled “Reviews” and the number of the reviews for each business is still included as part of the listing.
- Flyouts have been removed – searchers can no longer scroll over the local listing and see the flyout displayed on the right-hand side of the screen. Personally, I found the flyout convenient so I’m going to miss this feature. Obviously Google went this way because they are hoping more people will click the links. In order to the see the information, the user must click through to the secondary local page or the local business website.