Google’s Local Snack Pack Shake-Up: What You Need to Know

Google recently shook up the local results in its SERPs, killing the local 7-packs in favor of a 3-pack that resembles the mobile experience. This post tells you everything you need to know about the change and what it means for your local marketing.

Sales Renewal’s insight:

Did your local listing make the cut?

As you can see from the example in the image (and yes, both our local florists made the cut!), Google has made some pretty big changes to the map and listings that show up for local searches. SEO experts say this is the biggest change to SERPs (search engine results pages) since the Pigeon update in July 2014.

If you’ve ever searched for a local business, chances are you’re familiar with what is often called the “Map Pack” results, or the businesses and map results Google shows when someone does a local search – “florist mendon ma” for example. These recent “Snack Pack” changes include a reduction in the number of Map Pack results from 5-7 to 3. And, much of the previously visible information, like business address and phone number, has been removed.

As with most changes Google makes, speculation abounds as to why, but a streamlined view, better alignment between the desktop and mobile experience, and – the biggie – positioning to become a money maker are three well-founded explanations.

Staying in or Moving into the Top 3 Positions

While the impact of these changes are still unknown and a clear “how to” has yet to be determined, local businesses are advised to continue to optimize for local search as they had been doing: website optimized for search; good quality link building; citations and directories; and focusing on customer reviews.

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