HurricaneK8

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I wonder how this survey's answers will change in the next few months because of these changes? (Which Performs Better? High Pack or Organic Rankings?).
Without phone number and address, will users slowly start to ignore them?
And should we all be adding this info to our organic descriptions?
Does this give Bing Local the perfect advantage to get off on the right foot with users both business & searchers?
Hmmm... I don't know if i'll be able to stay away from the computer this weekend.
 

Linda Buquet

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True Kate!

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful replies. I'm just waking up and still shell shocked, but after I read Joy and Casey's posts and a couple other summaries, I'll probably do a round up with everyone's posts all in one place.

Even though I have not really had time to process much since I was away most of yesterday after this new display showed up on my PC - Over at Mike I just summarized some of my thoughts, so thought I'd share here too.

This is really disheartening to those of us in local – for so many reasons! AND it’s not that great for consumers either.

Only 3 choices. NO PHONE and no address on the 1st page SERPs, you have to click through to get that info. But then when you do, you are presented with a lot more choices that could distract away from the original result you wanted the phone # for.

Plus NO G+ Local page link any more. Not that that page was viewed by consumers or that important to them.

BUT that seems totally contradictory to Google’s goal of getting SMBs to claim/verify their local listing. The average SMB isn’t doing to know that the data on their page is what shows up in search and maps. I think some will think, “There’s no page anymore so why bother to claim and maintain one”.

If they can’t see a page, it’s like it doesn’t exist OR why bother with it, right? Don’t you think many that aren’t working with consultants like us and don’t know what’s up will think that way?

I think a lot of SMBs will just give up on Google Local. I think we’ll hear them in the Google forum telling us things like “who cares if the page isn’t complete or there is a problem with my data. I don’t rank in local any more because there are only 3 spots and even if I did – that page is gone so why bother”.

I also think consultants are going to have a much harder time getting business – unless they really put the focus on organic rankings. Because in many markets where the top of the pack was dominated by EMDs, there is no chance for other businesses to break into that 3 pack.

Am I being too negative? Is there possibly a bright side I’m not seeing yet?
 

KSanders

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I also think consultants are going to have a much harder time getting business – unless they really put the focus on organic rankings.

I think firms only doing local/maps will have a harder time retaining clients, especially those who aren't experienced with building lots of links in the current ecosystem and aren't comfortable playing in grayer areas, like emds/pmds and business listing manipulation.
 
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None of us like change, especially when it affects business. I really feel bad for the businesses that are sitting in the 4-7 range in maps and have a horrible organic ranking. I think this move will continue to push businesses and consultants into using other channels that will bring in customers.
 

Linda Buquet

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Let's keep the nitty gritty discussion going here.

But I just did a new post to round up all the commentary that's out there in one place.

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/35515-new-local-3-stack-local-pro-opinions-roundup-change-rocked-our-world.html">New Local 3 Stack: Local Pro Opinions Roundup on the Change that Rocked our World</a>

Feel free to add new posts as you find them. I'm sure there will be a ton as we all start to wrap our head's around all these changes.
 

ingenioussem

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This is going to hurt a lot of local players. I also expect in many verticals--particularly home services--these will roll into ad units.

As thumbtack continues to crawl further up droves of local terms, visibility in local SERPs will be largely pay to play. Take another look at this lovely SERP, coming soon to a vertical near you.

Not happy with this rollout, at all.


Nice, from 10 organic listings only 2 are actual businesses... I recall someone in Google promised to address this issue like a year ago....
 

Linda Buquet

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OK, we have a new name for this thing, that was just thrown into the ring.

I'd like to coin a name for this update (since Google is not naming it anyhow).

How about "Middle Finger to Local Business Update"?

From Sergey Lucktinov at the new post at the <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101614215978783501873">Local Search Pros</a> Google+ Community.

Good one Sergey! Could not agree more!
 

Linda Buquet

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Ya, the average SMB has not even noticed yet based on lack of chatter at the Google forum.

BUT they will and you guys will all be hearing about it.

As others have said various ways... pity the poor SMB that's been trying hard and doing everything right, and finally made it to page one BUT was sitting in the 4 - 7 spot. :(

I guess all you can say is "Google giveth and Google taketh away!"
 

Dave

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From above

OK, we have a new name for this thing, that was just thrown into the ring.

I'd like to coin a name for this update (since Google is not naming it anyhow).

How about "Middle Finger to Local Business Update"?
From Sergey Lucktinov at the new post at the Local Search Pros Google+ Community.

Good one Sergey! Could not agree more!

That is a better name than the Crap Pack
 

joedillon68

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I just did a search for our local listing in Chicago (Divorce mediator Chicago IL) and the first time I searched I appeared in the top 3 results. The next time I searched, I did not.

Also seeing something odd. For our listing in Naperville, IL our result doesn't show in top 3. When you click to see more results, our listing shows but it claims we don't have a website so you can only call. Of course we have a website!

Takeaway - check all listings not only to see if they appear in the top 3 but that the profile that's displayed is complete.
 

Broland

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I don't really have the time now or anytime soon, but has anyone checked to see if these 3 pack results match up with the old blended? Or better yet do they match up with Google maps results? They seem to be much like the new maps and could be pulling in those results.

The 'more results' is using &tbm=lcl in the URL's which is very similar to the new Google maps search.

If someone has time and wants to check these:
hxxps://www.google.com/search?q=PUT+SEARCH+TERMS+HERE&tbm=lcl

What I'm saying is, there has always been a discrepancy in rankings between the Google Maps results and the blended local packs. This update may be Google fixing that discrepancy.

With Google places gone and the beginning a separation from G+, it looks like Google is definitely investing towards Maps and mobile, at least for now - Probably a smart move.



For those interested, I took the time and tested this. It looks like the results match up now. I haven't found any so far with a difference between the new 3 that are blended into the serps, google maps and the newer local search.

It is very likely that with this change the algorithm for local also adjusted to rely on the Google maps algo (or perhaps the the other way around). At some point I'll go through old SERPs we have saved and compare at some point...

This is a big deal in a few ways for many of us... I'll just leave it at that.


Google is disconnecting from G+. Notice even photos point to Google maps. Clicking for photos on a listing that had photos on G+ will take you to their Google Maps profile page.

You can see the Google Maps profile page for a business like this:
hxxps://www.google.com/maps/views/profile/G+IDGoesHere

Example: https://www.google.com/maps/views/profile/117596379937581127695

You'll see the red G+ next to the business name with a link to their G+ page.

It doesn't work with a vanity URL, you need the CID. Example: https://www.google.com/maps/views/profile/+Directorybug

So you can use G+ photos to find a Google maps profile page and from that find the G+ page - will be useful at times.
 

Linda Buquet

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VERY interesting and helpful. Thanks Broland!

I'm not seeing a Red G+ next to name tho. Just a "Follow" button, but that just lets you add to circles, does not take you to the G+ page. Am I missing something?
 

Broland

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VERY interesting and helpful. Thanks Broland!

I'm not seeing a Red G+ next to name tho. Just a "Follow" button, but that just lets you add to circles, does not take you to the G+ page. Am I missing something?

Oh yea it looks like if you are logged in to Google you won't see the red G+ that links to the profile page.
 

Dave

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Here is how I would describe this update: From the Google perspective to Local Businesses:

I'd call it the "Whose Your Daddy Local Update"

Check out the references to the Whose Your Daddy phrase: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who's_your_daddy?_(phrase)

Google is boss!! If you want to play use Adwords!!! And remember all you smb's.


"Whose your daddy? Is he rich like me?? "
 

Linda Buquet

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Google is boss!! If you want to play use Adwords!!!

Haha Dave,

But actually I'm thinking this may be a gradual move into full local Pay-to-Play.

Like this SERP: https://www.google.com/search?q=plumbers+in+san+francisco
(Thanks to Ksanders in post #6.)

They are gradually moving things into that same type of display. Think about it, the most obvious monetization of local started with hotel bookings. That display, the new service business paid listings and now ALL local listings, share that same type of display. It would be easy for them to flip a switch to pay-to-play now that these are all starting to look the same.
 

Jim Froling

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I am just SO DISAPPOINTED with Google. Besides the fact that they have thrown a big "monkey wrench" into my (our) business, they screw up their user experience.


No phone number? What is most relevant contact info still? The TELEPHONE! Analog or Digital...The Phone!

Thanks also for the betrayal with Google+. Only a handful of years ago, Google made an impassioned (yet under marketed and less understood) case for establishing a social media identity for both themselves and their businesses on their platform.

Many of us here drank the Kool-Aid, invested a lot of time and bandwidth into this "alternative" social media platform. We strongly suggested/urged/insisted that other SMBs (clients/prospects) follow suit. We built "Circles", formed "Communities" around our Places/Local/Maps ID. And now "you can't there from here anymore, fella". Fabulous, thanks for the exercise!

So you make the Snack Pak. On desktop, search for "Dentist in _____" or another highly competitive trade. Is the Map and Snack Pack below "The Fold"?

On mobile, "OK Google" yields the top three results to the query. All AdWords. Wanna see organic? Scroll down. Only good news I've found today is the "snack pak" is the next pane shown (if I scroll down).

The Kool-Aid: "It's All About The User Experience".
The Reality: It is all about the revenue (AdWords) stream.
 

Jim Froling

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Also just noticed this in the organic SERP. Yelp domination at the top.

(Sorry to re-gurge on previous ob if I did) Been out of the loop last couple days pitching "The Local Search" proposition. Gonna have to adjust my fire now.

---------- Post Merged at 06:45 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 06:42 PM ----------

Et Tu, Google?
 

Linda Buquet

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I know Jim, I'm really disappointed and discouraged too.

It's not that I begrudge Google needing to monetize local. They are a business and they need revenue. I'm surprised they didn't do some revenue generating moves sooner.

I just don't like the way they did it. All these small plays and changes leading up to what I think will end up being full pay-to-play.
 
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