It is now more difficult for businesses to be listed in the top local search results on Google because of a recent update which has decreased the “local pack,” the number of business listings that are shown in organic search results. Google has updated the search results you see in a query with a local intent to show three local businesses instead of seven, meaning that the Google 7-pack is now a 3-pack.
The purpose of the redesigned local pack is to fit more within the mobile user interface.
These changes are expected to lead to less phone calls and sales for businesses that appeared in the fourth position and lower. Though, it may also lead to more business for those in the first three results, since competition has lessened in the slots.
Google’s intentions behind these updates is to provide a better search experience to users, with relevant information, which includes photos, reviews, and prices, for searches that have multiple prices for searches with multiple results for a given location.
Since the start, Google has consistently encouraged webmasters to work on building great worthwhile products that will grow their SEO. Though, a lot of the time, it is the companies with the most strategic marketing and PR that rank high, not the companies with the best products. Consequently, it is common that great new products struggle against competitors with strong SEO strategies.
Thereby, implementing smart SEO practices can make a lot of difference in terms of getting the most out of being online.
The users, are the winners when it comes to these new Google updates, as it is made easier to search and discover the best web and app content. Meaning that if companies are to remain competitive, SEO is proving to be significant in the process.