You may have a change in Google today, as the search engine has begun delivering a new kind of result for local businesses. For most popular location-based search terms, Google is now expanding each map listing so that it reveals a more comprehensive description of that particular business.
Here is an example of a search result for storage industry in Sydney.
Instead of doing multiple searches for a business and finding out that the result is not even in the suburb you are searching for, Google will now return you with more relevant and varied results.
According to Google product manager Jackie Bavaro:
“With Place Search, we’re dynamically connecting hundreds of millions of websites with more than 50 million real-world locations. We automatically identify when sites are talking about physical places and cluster links even when they don’t provide addresses and use different names.”
The benefits of this to users are:
- saving more time for mobile users doing locality searches.
- more accurate search results.
The downside to this is that business that haven’t even focused on Google Maps in the past are now going to lose a substantial amount of business because maps will dominate the local results. How many of you currently use location targeting? It may definitely be time to look into Google Places Optimisation to make sure you don’t get left behind.