Google’s change to local search results more disruptive than first thought

As we reported earlier this month,  Google made a dramatic change to the way they present local search results, replacing the “7 pack” of local results with a “3 pack” (named by some as the “snack pack”). This was a pretty significant change which means four less local businesses now show up.

seoClarity has released a report which highlights an even bigger change that wasn’t immediately obvious.  Prior to the “3 pack” being released Google showed the “7 pack” in the top spot for search results 25% of the time on average. According to the study by seoClarity Google is now showing the new “3 pack” in top spot 93% of the time.

Here is a rank graph illustrating this change in ranking distributions:

3 pack local search results

Why should you care?

This shows that getting into the local results pack is more important than ever for local businesses. And as we previously noted, if a business doesn’t make it into the 3 pack and or appear in top organic results the only way to immediately be visible in Google search results means spending money on AdWords.

Other search marketing news this week:

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About the Author Mark Sceats

Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting.Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations.