Say goodbye to the 3-pack
Well, Google has done it again.
At SMX Advanced this week, Google announced that they’re making a big change to their local search 3-pack – the box of local search results that comes up when you search for a local business.
In the near future, the top result in the local 3-pack will now be a paid ad, matching the trend in other changes Google has made to the search results. More and more, Google is prioritizing delivering paid results over organic results.
In many cases, such as any local search conducted on mobile, there are currently no organic results above the fold.
With Google’s increased focus on delivering advertising instead of organic search, the local 3-pack was a place where local businesses could really shine. However, the 3-pack will soon be a 2-pack, with the first result being taken up by an ad.
What does this mean?
It means that with increasingly limited real estate in the search results, the competition to become a top organic search result will be even more intense. Local businesses hoping to rank in the 3 pack are going to want to do everything they can to make sure they’re ranking well.
If you’re trying to rank in the 2-pack, you’re going to want to make sure that your website is mobile friendly, build links to your content, and do your keyword research to make sure you’re targeting the most effective search terms.
It can also pay off to invest in professional SEO services, like LinkNow Media’s Traffic solutions. These can help give you the edge in tough markets, and can be all the difference between getting into the two-pack and earning new customers, and not.
What will you do to get ready for the end of the 3-pack? Let us know in the comments, or drop us a line on Twitter.