Google Confirms Local Pack Redesign

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Google has recently confirmed the re-design of Local Pack and will be releasing it this week. This is a major change for advertisers, as Google will no longer offer two separate packs for business owners and individuals. Advertisers are now required to pay only one price in order to reach both audiences simultaneously on smartphones, tablets and computers.

Google Confirms Local Pack Redesign

Over the past several months, Google has been testing a new style for the Local Pack interface, and has now stated that the change will be permanent. 

The Local Pack is a part of the local search results that stands out. It includes a map that pinpoints the location of the top three companies for a local search. Being mentioned on this page may have a significant impact on the amount of traffic and sales that your local company receives.

Since 2015, Google has shown three results with a map above them. Before then, the Local Pack only had seven results, none of which included a map.

Design of a New Local Pack

The new design will have three results on the left side of the page and a map on the right. It will only apply to desktop searches. One significant benefit is that the map is larger, which may make it simpler for certain searchers to utilize.

The new look is as follows:

Local Pack Redesign

The previous design was as follows:

Old Google Local Pack Design

Google’s confirmation

“We’re continually investigating methods to link people with the useful information that they’re seeking,” Google stated in a statement to SagaReach Marketing, confirming the changes.

“We’re presently rolling out an upgrade to the desktop Search interface so that when users search for nearby sites or companies, such as ‘parks near me’ or’restaurants near me,’ they may see local results on the left and a map on the right.” We anticipate that this will be widely accessible in the next weeks.”

On Twitter, SEO professionals said that they had lately seen the new interface for specific local searches.

The GIANT MAP local pack has been discovered:

Miriam Ellis (@Miriam Ellis_) (@Miriam Ellis_) (@Miriam Ellis_) (@ 9th of December, 2021

Whoa. Take a look at this large local collection:

Darren Shaw (@DarrenShaw_) (@DarrenShaw_) (@DarrenShaw_) (@DarrenShaw 7th of December, 2021

What does this entail for clients of BrightLocal?

We’re certain that this upgrade will have no effect on BrightLocal clients, and that reporting data will be unaffected.

As always, we’ll keep an eye on the situation and provide updates as needed.  

Fluctuations in Local Search Rankings

As more local SEOs have noticed the new Local Pack design, there have been reports of significant improvements in local ranks.

For the first time, businesses have been seen rising up into the Local Pack, with those with a large number of reviews seeming to benefit the most.

Unexpected spikes in traffic from local searches have also been reported on the internet. A lot of SEO professionals believe this is the consequence of an algorithm upgrade, however others believe it is the effect of the Local Pack makeover. 

In the Local Pack, there are advertisements.

There’s been some chatter of greater ad presence, as if there wasn’t already enough local search change going on at the moment.

Sterling Sky’s Joy Hawkins tweeted that she’d spotted two advertisements in a Local Pack, despite the fact that one is usually the limit. 

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen two adverts in the Google Maps app before (typically just one).

December 7, 2021 — Joy Hawkins (@JoyanneHawkins)

Others responded to Joy’s tweet by saying they’ve lately seen two advertisements in the Local Pack, with some believing this will become more prevalent in the next year and beyond. 

A possible issue with ads in the Local Pack, apart from potentially affecting user experience, is that they may sometimes appear in nearby cities to the intended location. When this occurs, it’s not good for the advertiser, who is squandering money, and it’s probably of little use to the searcher as well.

The visibility of organic results will inevitably be impacted by the increasing ad presence in the Local Pack. This might detract from the value of the findings for local customers. 

It’s unclear if the two-ad oddity is a permanent change to Local Pack advertising, or whether it’s just a test or a problem. 

Local Search Changes

These modifications to the Local Pack come soon after Google My Business was rebranded to Google Business Profile (GBP), a move that coincided with Google making further pronouncements regarding the tool’s future.

If you’re an agency in charge of GBP listings or a company owner in responsible of local SEO, now is a good moment to double-check that you’re following best practices. Although there may be some volatility in search engine rankings, those that follow the recommendations and optimize properly should expect to gain in the long term. 

Alix Coe

BrightLocal’s Content Marketing Manager is Alix. They are mostly interested in reporting on the newest industry news and offering insights into the realm of local SEO.

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