November 2010

Google’s New Results Page

by YC Ng on November 4, 2010

Google has made the significant changes to their search results page! The obvious change is that the “7 pack” is gone.

Google has rolled out Place Search, a new kind of local search result that organizes the information around places. This combines the natural and the local search results. Top Google Places listings are now integrating it within the first page results. Here’s a location specific search that shows exactly what’s changed:

Google news results page

Visually, the map has been moved to the right column and “floats” as users move down the results. The 7-Pack is gone and a richer presentation of local results with images.

This new results rely heavily on Place Search results. The Place results are marked with red pins. One thing to notice is that most top results had very complete place pages that included pictures, reviews, & etc.

To see just Place Search results, you can now click the “Places” icon in the left navigation, which replaces “Maps.” Here’s the same “penang property” result after being filtered by Places, which brings up the all local Place Search results:

According to Google, “20% of searches on Google are related to location.”

The big winner with the Google Place Page update is the local business owner. Why? Because the local business owner has had it rough so far, having to figure out exactly what a “web presence” meant. Do they have their own site? A blog? A Facebook page? Foursquare? Coupons? Twitter? Online Yellow Page inclusion? A local business could spend a lot of money and still have no chance of showing up in a Google search… from Eric Ward.

The clear loser is 3rd party directory which charge per inclusion. They had been relying Google for traffic and now have to spend more on paid search to gain more exposure. For searcher point of view, why should Google direct them to a third party directory when Google can simply direct them to where they are looking for?

If you have not set up your Google Places account properly or optimize it to top places, you may be left behind.

Click here to download our step by step Google Places video tutorial and do it correctly.