Yesterday, Google formally rolled out a new presentation of local results, called “Place Search.” It offers a dramatic change to the look and feel of SERPs on Google.com. The first and most obvious change is that the “7 Pack” is gone.
Before Place Search Layout:
New Place Search Layout:
Place Search results will begin appearing automatically on Google when they predict a searcher is looking for local information. If you don’t see these local results, a new “Places” link can be found in the left-hand panel of the search results page. This allows you to switch to these results whenever you want.
Place Search began rolling out yesterday and will be available globally in more than 40 languages over the next few days. If you aren’t yet seeing the results and would like to preview them, check them out here.
While there’s still a lot of speculation and unknowns regarding ranking factors, this is seen as a very positive change for the local space. By making local results (and Place Pages) more prominent than ever before, users will likely respond with more local queries and rely on Google even more for local information. The overall volume and percentage of Google queries for local information is likely to increase.
Stay tuned for more updates as Google Place Search rolls out to everyone.