Google’s 3-Pack is History

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.


Massage Therapist 3 Pack

When I search for "massage therapist" Google suggests three local results near me.


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.

mobile ads

On the mobile version of Google, you're going to need to scroll a lot to see anything but paid results.


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.

Ad in 3-pack

This is a mockup of the new 3-pack with the paid result, courtesy of BrightLocal.


What does this mean?

you can do it

But don't give up! As long as you stick to it, your online marketing will pay off.

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.

Lauchlin MacDonald

Author: Lauchlin MacDonald

About Lauchlin MacDonald

Lauchlin is part of the content and marketing team at LinkNow Media. He has nearly a decade of experience in copywriting and editing, and spends way too much time on the Internet. He can be reached at and @Lauchlin on Twitter.