Google my business, Google snack Pack ( Oh no Make it a 3 Pack to go)

There goes Google again, making it harder and harder for people who own businesses to rank on page one.
Just when you thought it was safe to go into the woods ( you finally got on the seven pack), there they go again changing the rules at the expense of the common business man and woman.
Here’s some great information I found from my buddies at the Hoth.

We’ll breaking down the latest changes as well as some thoughts into where Google is going in the future – And what you should do to keep up!

Let’s get into it:

The Google 3-Pack (Google Snack Pack) Local Update

Google has recently updated their results to get rid of what used to be the very common local 7-pack and replace it with a new 3 pack results.

It looks like this:

new local search results

Essentially, it cuts off anyone that was below the top 3 in the local pack.

On top of that, you’ll notice some other key differences:

  • Phone number and address are removed (WTF?)
  • Google+ links are removed (Google is de-associating Google+) you can’t even get to your Google plus page from here anymore.
  • When you click the name, instead of going to the end website, like you used to, it takes you to what looks like a Google Maps page
    once again (WTF?)

Why did Google do this?

We can’t say for sure, but taking a look at what else is going on in Google land we might make some assumptions.

1. Google Wants The Local Services Market

Looks like our friends at Google want to get into the SEO market and put us Out of business.
$2 billion today in revenue isn’t enough for them they Want it all!

2. Google wants more money by controlling the process

Gotta keep those investors happy right? Adwords isn’t enough, so Google needs to control all the leads.

Well yeah, Google makes money by keeping users in the search results clicking their ads. The more they can do that, the more money they can make.

Check out this case study by Casey Meraz at Juris Digital where shows where users are clicking.










He concluded that 46% of people are clicking on the local results’ businesses name…

Here’s the kicker: One of the biggest differences between the old results and the new is that users used to click the name of the company and go directly to the homepage, therefore sending users away from Google.

Now in contrast, clicking the name takes the user to ANOTHER Google page.

The more page views, the less users need to visit the end site. Google can also make more money by controlling the whole process.

Hipocracy What’s funniest about this is the hipocracy of Google.

Google hates scraping – taking information from other pages and publishing it on your page, and even bans websites that do this.

They regularly block IPs that scrape Google (resulting in lots of rank trackers shutting down) around that time.

Even Google content guidelines say you need to stay clear of scraping:









Well, at least they hate other people scraping, but for Google itself.. that’s fine.

Google is the worlds biggest scraper. Hilariously shown in this tweet:

(*this search result has been since updated)

But why would Google be a scraper?

Check out these screenshots of how Google wants to handle the entire lead transaction (this exists as the new home service ad types).

If no one ever visits the end-users site, they can control everything (they control the leads, they can sell the leads).

I don’t think google actually wants you to go to the business’ webite. If they can get all the business’ content into the search results, they can be the middle man for everything.

They can keep users on the search results, sell the leads to the advertisers right from the easy-google-contact form…

They can control all the money, all the transactions.

Google knows this works, and they’ve been trying to include more and more data right into the search results to keep people on the page.

On another note, with this new ad type, Google’s results are super top heavy with ads, something they also say is not cool… for anyone except themselves. They even released a Google update that will demote pages for doing this back in 2012:

So what are we to do?
This article makes a lot of assumptions, and the only thing that we’ve historically know for sure is that local changes.

One major thing to point out is that nothing changed algorithmically with this update. There are no new ranking factors, meaning that if you ranked 1-3 before, you continued ranking 1-3, so all the local strategy that we advocate is still accurate and up to date.

With that said, at this point, if you’re not top 3 you’re going to have to step it up! (You have to rank in the top 3 locally to even be shown).

This means making sure you have good optimization on your GMB listing, good local citations, and a strong organic presence.

And as always, I’ll continue keeping you up to date with the Google Alphabet circus.

And of course if you need any help getting your website ranking on page one of Google I’m always here with advice and information and I’ll be coming up with some brand-new webinars and seminars live in Calgary in 2015/2016

Allan Fine
Marketing and Franchising consultant,
Marketing Systems
Phone: 403-246-7386
Mountain Standard Time|
The Executive Edge
Internet Marketing / Website Development
SEO + SMM and Consulting services.
My Linkedin Profile


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