More threads by Chris Prendergast

Dec 22, 2017
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Doing a Google search for [city name] lawyers, [city name] plumbers, [city name] restaurants invariably leads to a search with a prominent map pack, with average GMB star ratings associated with each location.

But I'm noticing that [city name] banks seems to be hiding the stars from the local map pack. Is anyone else seeing this too? Has it always been this way and I just never noticed?
Hey Chris,

I'm going to copy and paste what I have written about this in my training :)

There are currently a few types of local 3-packs, but the ones I see most commonly are branded and non-branded. The branded 3-pack is generally what you get when you search things like “sears dallas” or “starbucks seattle” or “state farm chicago.” You’ll get a non-branded 3-pack when you search generic categories like “shopping mall chicago” or “auto insurance baltimore.”

Here are the noticeable differences between the 2:
  • The branded 3-pack has an ABC labeling on it; the non-branded 3-pack does not.
  • The non-branded 3-pack shows reviews/rating stars; the branded 3-pack does not.
  • The non-branded 3-pack shows the primary category for the listing (e.g., “Insurance Agency”); the branded 3-pack does not.

It is important to know what type of pack you are dealing with because a brief change I witnessed once showed that the ranking factors are different. Here are some of the differences I observed.

  • Keywords in the domain matter more for non-branded 3-packs.
  • Organic ranking factors matter more for non-branded 3-packs.
  • Hidden addresses may hinder ranking for a branded 3-pack.
  • Distance to the city-center (centroid) mattered more for branded 3-packs. The map is generally zoomed in more as a result (check out the screenshot below).
  • Keywords in the business name mattered more for non-branded 3-packs.
  • Using the proper primary category mattered more for branded 3-packs.

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