Up until August 2015, Google listed the top seven local search results in what was nicknamed the “Seven Pack”. If you could appear there you could leapfrog the traditional organic listings, get a marker on the accompanying map and also a phone listing and a link to your website. Local was recently rebranded as “Google My Business” the latest of many refinements over the years.

Now they have introduced the “Three Pack”, as shown below:

Local Three-Pack Google Serps

The “Seven-Pack” is now a “Three-Pack”, allowing more room for paid ads, and showing less detail from the Local listings – especially phone numbers.

 

With increased competition for Adwords there will be a bidding war that forces costs up to get the same placements. But there is not much to be done to recover your coverage in the “Three-pack” – we can try improving your SEO and getting more incoming links, and add as much detail as possible to your My Business Local Listing – lots of pictures and video.

The result is to put more pressure on paid ads – Adwords rely on a number of factors to rank – one of the most important being Quality Score – even bidding the most won’t beat a low score and your ads won’t show – and you may not know.

Quality Adwords management gives you a huge advantage, but Google, as always, makes sure it wins!

Have your results been affected?