I am going to weigh in on this three pack update a bit differently than most of my digital marketing peers. Most of the attention this “snack pack” has been drawing has been negative to say the least. I saw someone say “local seo is dead”
This attitude blows my mind. Everyone thinks the sky is going to fall whenever Google makes even the slightest change to their search platform. Let’s get started.
Firstly, what Google did was smart. They removed 57% of the listings in a pack that was optimized for conversions. It is no secret they disallow things that detract from their ads. Thus, they removed the Google + picture from the serps, they are minimizing the local pack, and they are even moving towards turning local queries into their own lead gen playground. Google is a business with most of its profitable revenue coming from its incomplete success of monopolizing online search. We are on their turf and as a business person I understand the decision.
Just think…How many additional clicks are their ads going to receive? Even if a measly 1.5-3% gravitate towards the ads because of the less intrusive pack, that is a massive uptick in revenue.
Some people are theorizing that Google will cannibalize their ad profits because people are going to decrease their spend when they start getting a piece of the additional traffic organically to their properties. I strongly believe that this is an illogical assumption and am confident that future data will show this idea as downright erroneous. I do believe this “snack pack” is here to stay. Keep in mind this was a strategic roll out. Google has been testing small packs for months, and if any analysis showed a decrease in revenue then rest assured it would have never happened on this large of a scale, or at all for that matter.
Since we can assume this 3 pack is here to stay, let’s pick out a few things we at LCT love about this update, and you should too.
This might sound corny, and in this particular case I am totally cool with that, but this will separate the boys from the men. Bad analogy? The pros from the amateurs? You get the point…
Listen, pigeon will ensure that local marketers need to always stay on top of their game, but while the pack can be volatile when Google tests their algorithmic updates, the blueprint for success is not a mysterious, difficult secret. Check out our free, definitive Google My Business training.
Now, more than ever, people need to be conscientious about the onsite factors that affect map rankings, the quality of their media rich citations, and the other signals they show Google. Most people still think a citations package and stuffing the keyword in the business name (which our very own Brian Willie told us a year ago was going to get more and more accounts hit, and it has) is going to get great rankings. It still can but those using our training are going to trample their competition and garner more sustainable results.
I also love the obvious fact that our organic rankings are going to get more traffic. With the 7 pack, unless you ranked your website above the pack which was no easy feat, your number one ranking was actually the tenth listing on the page. Two ads followed
As you can see from the screen shot a listing that would have been in the twelfth position is at number 8 on the page. For queries that do not have listings above the pack we would be seventh. This particular query shows the number one position in the pack also right under the pack, but for those with lead gen sites with no legitimate address this could be a life saver.
Are you guys pumped for the 3 pack?