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Update: As usual Professor Maps found this one a while ago…#doh!

Looks like we’ve got another candidate for Mike’s Summary of Recent Local Pack Tests: a set of three local “swipe-shows” of businesses in categories related to a searched brand appearing at the bottom of the SERP (Dan is calling them the “3-Headed Snake of Local”). For example, here’s what I get for “best buy pleasanton”:
Best Buy Pleasanton

These results appear to be showing mainly on mobile and tablets but they are inconsistent.

It seems like Google has turned the dial too far up on the “brand” algo. I first encountered them yesterday when searching on an iPad for “apple maps”:
Apple Maps Results
I checked the Local Pack results for each of these category queries and thus far they don’t match up with these new results, and in many cases I have tested, the results were from a much wider radius than the Local Pack or Maps results. For example, for the “best buy” query, the second result in the carousel is Fry’s Electronics which is over 10 miles away from me while the Map results for the same query cluster the results within about a 5-mile radius.

Per the “apple maps” example, it seems like these results draw on some kind of “related brand” algorithm in combination with the “related category” algorithm. So perhaps “Fry’s” has a bit more oomph than Baron’s 400 Lb Cyber Consulting in Pleasanton.

Also of interest in the “best buy” results is the last carousel is for “Nearby Places” instead of a category. As best I can tell it’s a list of other department stores, kind of. This is the “View All” version of that list:

nearby placesAll of the results are recognizable department store brands except for Pacific Sales, which is a store within a store in Best Buy, and Hacienda Crossings, a shopping mall.

A few weeks ago A.J. Kohn wrote a great piece on The Future of Mobile Search:

Once AMP is sprinkled all through the results wouldn’t it be easier to swipe between AMP results once you were in that environment? They already have the dots navigation element to indicate where you are in the order of results.

I know, I know, you’re thinking about how bad this could be for non-AMP content but let me tell you a secret. Users won’t care and neither will Google.

User experience trumps publisher whining every single time.

In the end, instead of creating a carousel for the links, Google can create a carousel for the content itself.

Looks like the future may be now…


 
 

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