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Google’s Recent Map Pack Update [VIDEO]

You’ve probably noticed the recent update to the map pack on Google’s local search results. We all had a collective freak-out when we saw that the traditional 7-pack had been replaced by the new 3-pack that doesn’t show addresses or phone numbers. Even worse, a click on a pack listing now leads to the new Local Finder page, where competitors are stacked right next to you.

Our latest Wednesday Workshop video outlines all the changes, so you’re up to speed on how the local pack works now. We also talk about getting your dealership into the pack, or skipping it altogether and focusing your efforts on dominating organic results.

Welcome back to another DealerOn Wednesday Workshop! If you pay attention to Google search results on a regular basis, you’ve probably noticed the big change that rolled out in August…

The 7-pack of map results has been killed and replaced by what’s being called the “Local Stack”.

This is a HUGE change in local search results, so if you haven’t noticed, or haven’t paid attention when you saw something different, I’m here to explain what changed and what the ramifications are.

Before, when you searched for any type of local business, you’d get the standard map pack with 7 results. You’d see the business name, address, and phone number, along with review stars and a map pin that would correspond to the pin on the map in the right column. It also displayed a link directly to the business’ Google My Business page.

Now, the layout of the local results is based on a mobile-first design. We went from 7 results to 3 results. The map has been moved to the top of the results. Shockingly, the address and phone number no longer show up. Even crazier, there’s no link to a Google My Business location page.

It gets even crazier – when you click on a business, you’re taken to the new Local Finder page, where it shows 9 of your competitors… and since it really only shows business name and star ratings, it can be VERY bad for you if other dealerships have better ratings than you do.

After the Pigeon update last summer, it’s been extremely difficult to rank in the map pack if you’re not actually located in the city where someone is searching. Now that there are only 3 results, it’s going to be virtually impossible. In bigger markets, we’ll have hundreds of dealers fighting for the 3 map spots on the more competitive terms like “used cars” – it’s going to be ridiculously hard to get in the Local Stack in those situations.

Yes, it totally sucks that Google no longer shows address or phone number – and yes, it totally sucks that if people click on you, they’ll see all your competitors stacked nicely below you. Unfortunately, there’s not really anything that can be done about it.

While your competitors are whining about it, you can jump ahead of the game and refocus your efforts on Local SEO. Target those juicy local organic results – and before long, you won’t even care that the 7 packs are gone.

Thanks for stopping by to check out this week’s DealerOn Wednesday Workshop. f you’ve got any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Just pop down below and leave your questions in the comments section, and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can. Don’t forget to check back next week for another DealerOn Wednesday Workshop!

Author Greg Gifford

Greg Gifford is the Vice President of Search at DealerOn. He has over 16 years of online marketing and web design experience, and has specialized in automotive SEO for the last 8 years, helping hundreds of auto dealers thrive while the industry has struggled during the recession. Greg speaks internationally at both automotive and SEO conferences, teaching thousands of small business owners and marketers how to get their sites to show up higher in local search rankings. Greg also spends his spare time doing freelance website design and SEO for local businesses. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Cinema and Communications, and has an obscure movie quote for just about any situation.

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