Doctor's Search

Google Local Search Update

September 1, 2015
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Whatever happened to the 7 pack?

Once the holy grail for many local search engine marketing companies, the infamous 7 pack for local business listings has been obliterated by Google following a recent update on the 6th August 2015.

It used to be a fairly easy process to get a local business into the 7 pack and ranked on page 1, assuming that was, the business was not in a major city and the competition was not too difficult. However things have changed from what once was an almost assured method of getting a clients website ranked to something a lot more challenging.

 

To demonstrate the change is a before and after
shot of a recent search for “Hotels in Belfast ” 

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Before the update as shown in the picture above you can see there are 7 business listings. This was previously an excellent way of getting your business on to page 1 even if you only had a Google + page, however that has now changed.

 

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Google has also removed the phone numbers and exact addresses from the listings, instead only showing the name of the street where the business is located. So, unlike before the update, searchers are no longer given your business contact information upfront but need to look for it on their own.

 

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This one I believe to be a BIGGIE.  Google has not only removed contact info from the initial view, but also disabled all 1-click ways to access it. All links to an associated business page were also removed. Now, clicking on any listing opens a list of 20 competitors, not 7 as was previously the case.

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It is probably too early to make any immediate conclusions to the impact this may have to some businesses especially those who do not have an established internet presence. It will make it more difficult to rank to be visible on these top 3 positions however on the flip side it now displays 20 listings over 7 .

The top 3 positions are rotated and to get to the top positions it is essential to  have reviews on your google + pages. This is one of the best methods to secure higher rankings for local search.  It must also be borne in mind  that different results are displayed depending on the location of the search, so there is no hard and fast rule to stable rankings.

From what I can see my view is that Google are only doing 1 thing and that is boost their profits and to make you pay to get a page 1 listing using no less than their extremely profitable ADWORDS platform.

PPC does work to get fast traffic qualified traffic delivered directly to your business. The downfall however is getting the traffic to convert to customers…[/vc_column_text][notification_box header=”We have been working on-line in SEO since 1999. Let us make YOU our next success story. CALL 02891 310010 ” type=”info” top_margin=”page_margin_top”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row]