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Exploring the New Google Places Layout

Posted by in Local Search

Are you bored with the old fashioned look of Google Places search results? Do you sometimes struggle to spot the address or contact number you’re looking for right away? It looks like your troubles may be over, since Google officially announced last week that we can all look forward to an updated Places layout.

Generally the changes of the new layout affects on both the “Pure Listing” (3-pack or 7-pack) and the “Blended Listing” results (you can read more about blended listings from David Mihm). To give you a clear idea of the differences, let’s compare the traditional layout and the new layout below:

“Pure Listing” layout:

Traditional 7-Pack Listing
Traditional 7-Pack Listing
New 7-Pack Listing
New 7-Pack Listing

“Blended Listing” layout:

Traditional Blended Listing
Traditional Blended Listing
New Blended Listing
New Blended Listing

The most obvious changes we could easily see from the above are:

  1. The landscape oriented map replacing the portrait oriented map which provides more visible space on the map.
  2. The address and the phone number are seperated from the normal listing of URL, making it easier for users to find the location and contact information.
  3. The traditional red pin linking to the Place page has been replaced with the new grey pin. And when you mouse over it, it turns red.

These changes make the difference between “Pure Listing” and “Blended Listing” very minor, and I’m going to take a wild guess that eventually these two methods of listing will be merged by Google to eliminate the inconsistency.

Another significant improvement is when you click or mouse over the arrow on the right of the Places listing, a preview of the Place page will show up. The following information are included in the preview:

  1. Map location
  2. Street View Thumbnail (if avaliable)
  3. Photo Thumbnail
  4. Website Thumbnail
  5. Details at a glance
  6. Transport information
  7. Opening hours
  8. Review links

This new function would save a lot of time that users used to spend on going back and forth the different place pages to choose the ideal location. You can type in any keywords in your search engine to see for yourself. Or if the new layout is not running at your location yet, you can take a sneak peak from the following image:

Business Place Listing

Traditional Business Place Listing
Traditional Business Place Listing
New Business Place Listing
New Business Place Listing

This all adds up to a faster, more convenient user experience, and is in perfect alignment with Google’s Mission Statement: “Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Do you think there is still room for improvement?

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