Google’s local pack now has fewer businesses listed. The 7-pack is now the 3-pack.

Last week Google Maps made a significant update to how Google Maps shows local listings in a web search. Before, users would see 7 local listings, and today they only see 3! But that is not all that has changed; Google made layout changes to be more streamlined for their mobile interface.

Screenshot of the new Google Maps

Google Maps 3-pack screenshot


The implications to local business

What does this all mean and why should you care about this update? First, there are a few obvious but key implications of this new display:

  • There are less changes for a local business to show up in local search results
  • Less local businesses will receive less traffic to their site and less phone calls
  • There is more room for organic search results and/or paid ads

It’s more important then ever for a local business owner to ensure their site is fully optimized so that they are in 1 of these 3 map positions as doing so can give your business a boost above the competition.

What a local business owner can do to be in the Google Maps 3-pack

Here’s the good news: It’s possible for your business to be in the local search results free of charge. Now for the bad news: It will take a lot of time and effort because just like you, your competitors are also trying to out do you to be in one of the top 3 spots. There is no magic trick or fast process to get your business in the top 3, but here are a few things you can do to ensure you give your business the best possible chances:

  • Make sure you have set up and optimized your Google My Business Profile.
  • Ask your customers to provide legitimate, real Google Reviews of your business.
  • Make sure you have signed up for free local online directories, and that your business name, address, phone number is in the exact same format across all of these directories.
  • Have a mobile friendly website as Google gives a lot of weight to sites that have a mobile version of itself. If you don’t have a mobile site you are hurting your online mobile search rankings. To check whether your site is mobile friendly, ask Google.


Need Help?

As a small business owner I know that other small business owners are busy managing their client base and while they understand the importance of maintaining a good Google presence, they may not have the time or knowledge to do it themselves. If this sounds like you, please contact me and I will gladly help you get better Google rankings in Google Maps and Google Search.