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Bye-bye 7 Pack, Hello 3 Pack Aka Snack Pack Local Results

Digital Marketing Consultant

Addresses and Phone numbers gone, leaving only the N in NAP

Google always makes updates to the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and more often than not causes a stir in the SEO community with both gainers and losers across the board (content aggregators and mom & pop sites). This time local businesses are the ones feeling the heat as their Google+/Local listings instantly disappeared overnight as Google rolled out its 3 Pack for what and where searches.

Previously Google would display 7 local listings together with a map on the right – the 7 Pack.  The Snack Pack, as it’s now being referred to in the SEO community is made up of 3 business listings as (opposed to 7) and display below a map (as opposed to having the map on the top right above the AdWords slots). See screenshot below.

3-pack-snack-pack

The strange thing about this update was its abruptness. Usually Google rolls out changes in the US and UK markets first and then worldwide – usually reaching South Africa within 3 months. However the 7 pack was wiped out overnight across the globe on Thursday the 6th of August.  The new 3 Pack (Snack Pack) differs from the old 7 pack as it has both addresses and phone numbers missing from the 3 listings displayed. There is a link to display more results below the 3rd listing.

Phone Numbers Gone

Searchers will not be able to see phone number on listings in the 3 pack on desktop. To view the phone number, searchers will need to click through to the listing or website. On mobile, the phone number is also not displayed. Instead there is a click to call button on each listing.  See below:

3-pack-mobile-version

Addresses Gone

Google got rid of addresses from the desktop snack pack local results and left addresses only on mobile (see above). Again the searcher will need to click through to the listing or website to get access to the full address (on desktop).

Google+ Links Gone

I came across a number of posts online discussing how Google finally threw in the towel with regards to their social network (Google+). Whilst this is still more of a rumour, The Big G has shown a lack of confidence in its failed comeback to Facebook by removing links to Google+ from the 3 pack results. This is going to be interesting as the search giant was pushing for local businesses to claim their listings using Google+ earlier in Q2.

Opening Hours Added

Google added in store hours, (both opening and closing hours) and these respond to the time of day.

Reviews Relabelled

Reviews are no longer labelled Google reviews as before. They are now just reviews, perhaps alluding to the fact that Google is planning to use reviews from other sources such as Yellowpages.

No More Flyouts

Searchers will no longer be able to scroll over local listings to view the local card for the business as was with the 7 Pack. They need to click through to the local listing to view any details about the business.

Post click

When a searcher clicks through to a listing, they will be presented with additional local listings and a map. There are 20 local listings on the preceding page and searchers can click through to see any of these.

view-3-pack

I am sure there are a lot of stressed local SMEs out there and only the strongest (most optimized) will be able to feature in this prime real estate.

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