Feb 14, 2016
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Hi all, this is my first post so I want to say hi and I also have a question (I hope I'm in the right section).

Today I noticed some differences between what Google shows in the local results (snack pack I think it's called) for some businesses vs others. For example, when I do a Google search for general contractor Austin, I can see the reviews under the businesses names, but when I do a search for handyman Austin, there are no reviews showing even though I know the 3 businesses have reviews. I can only see the reviews once I click the business names.
Any ideas why Google doesn't show handyman reviews in the snack pack?

Oct 25, 2013
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Welcome to the forum Deeshipman!

Snackpack works, those maps are sometimes called the 3-pack or the local pack as well.

What you've stumbled on is the difference between a normal 3-pack, and a branded 3-pack. The main difference, the branded 3-pack is mostly supposed to only show for multi location brand searches. Do a search for starbucks or McDonald's for example, and that's what you'll see instead of the normal 3-pack.

The main difference between the branded 3-pack and the normal 3-pack is the branded one has no reviews, and uses A, B, and C for number instead of the usual 1, 2, and 3.

You can read more about it on this thread back in February when those branded 3-packs started showing up more for non-branded queries.

As for why handyman is showing a branded 3-pack instead of a normal one... not sure. I just checked a half a dozen US cities, they all pop up a branded 3-pack, so it seems to have to do with how Google interprets the word handyman. My guess, is it's partly because of the huge number of businesses that use the word handyman in their name, and it's partly because the word's a little unusual, and not as obviously a category as 'contractor'. Which brings to mind a question... why doesn't Bellevue Dental Care pull up a branded 3-pack?

Mysteries for the ages.

Hope that helped!


LocalU Faculty
Top Poster Of Month
Jul 18, 2012
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My next Search Engine Land article actually talks about the differences between the 2 and I also discovered that their ranking signals are different due to this crazy thing that happened with a client that I've never seen before (what I talk about in the article).

I'll try to post it back on this thread when it publishes in a week or so.
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