The Local 3-Pack is Google’s method to display the top three results for local SERP results. Basically, when someone types in “grocery store near me,” it will populate the top results. These results include three local businesses that Google chooses using the following factors: relevance, prominence, and closeness location-wise to the user.
At the end of 2021, Google confirmed they were rolling out a new design for the Google Local 3-Pack. They have been testing the new design with beta testers and are currently rolling it out to everyone.
Here is what Google had to say in a recent interview:
“We are constantly exploring ways to connect people with the helpful information that they are seeking. For example, we are currently rolling out an update to the Search interface on a desktop so when people search for places or businesses nearby, like ’parks near me’ or ’restaurants near me,’ they will easily see local results on the left and a map on the right. We expect this to be broadly available over the coming weeks.”
Today we will be sharing what changes will be made and how they will impact businesses and users alike. We will also discuss how you can improve your rankings in light of these recent changes.
Local 3-Pack: What is Changing?
The main changes are to the look of the Local 3-Pack. To make the experience for users easier and more intuitive, they have redesigned it to be more functional. As Google representatives said in the expert above, “they will easily see local results on the left and a map on the right.” This helps by showing the top 3 results on a large, easy-to-view map and showing their relevant information (reviews, website, address, etc.) all on one screen.
This will make it easier than ever for users to make informed decisions when performing searches.
You may find yourself wondering what it looked like before these changes. Before, users saw a thin map at the top of the page followed by the top 3 results. The map was small and rectangular, meaning many results had to be zoomed out further to show all 3 locations at once.
What This Means for Small Businesses
While this new update is exciting for Google users, many business owners are concerned. Will this impact their SEO or cause any major changes for them? With Google My Business recently changing to Google Business Profile, it is a lot for business owners to take in at once.
This update in the design of the Local 3-Pack is impacting small businesses. However, many businesses are already seeing the effects of it. If your business has been impacted, now is the time to optimize your Google listing, make sure your information is up-to-date, and start collecting more reviews. These are the best ways to boost your ranking and work your way into your Local 3-Pack. Of course, it is important to remember that local SEO is a long game and short-term results are unrealistic.
We are excited to see how these changes impact the way users can find businesses. While this may present new challenges to local business owners, it is the way of the internet and online marketing in general: every changing and evolving. The businesses that take the time to focus on improving their SEO and collecting reviews continually will definitely come out on top with these changes.