Google Shakes up Local Search in Canada 0

Google Shakes up Local Search in Canada

You might have noticed some changes to the search listings on Google just lately, especially with terms that contain a geographical location such as Calgary or Toronto.

– a local marketing agency in Calgary. They have reported seeing many changes in 2017 for the maps algorithm. You can see the website here:

In the past we have seen a top section of the search results present themselves with a map of the location, and a selection of 5 or 6 companies / web sites accompanying them.  Now things have become very different.

On the screen shot to the right you will see how the local listings take over the majority of the real estate of the search results.  Not only that, but they also come complete with contact details, and where applicable, reviews and ratings.  So what does this mean for search?

Well, there are a few things to consider.

Firstly, Google appears to focusing on becoming a directory for local business, and not a Search Engine for web sites.  If you know that you are looking for a London Courier (for example) and you get these search results appearing then you are instantly presented with the contact details – so you dont actually need to visit their web site at all.

The second most annoying thing about the new Google Local search features is the map that appears over the sponsored listings.  Now on first glance, although it does push the sponsored links down the page it doesn’t look ‘too’ bad, however when you start to scroll the map moves with you – covering up the sponsored links adverts!

Of course, as with any new rollout there are a few ‘bugs’ which means that you wont necessarily get the search results you desire.

The introduction of these localised Search results (OK, not introduction, but enhancement) means that the smaller businesses can now get their voices heard a little more in the SERPs.  Even Pay per Click is becoming difficult for small businesses to utilise as the larger businesses are bidding silly amounts for keywords putting them out of reach of the smaller guys.

So for now, from me, Google Local is a bit of a mixed bag but it will be interesting to see a) if it lasts and b) how it will be improved over the coming months.