Our friends over at Moz saw a new SERP feature pop up in their MozCast.

Paid Local Pack?

Notice the lovely paid ads dressed up as a local pack result? While this is a test, and nothing but a test, is it also a continued acknowledgement from Google that their current methods of dealing with Local search results suck? Or maybe it’s an acknowledgement that local data sucks and Google isn’t making enough money from local to throw serious resources into attempting to crack that nut.

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6 Response Comments

  • Thaddaeus Hubbard  August 12, 2014 at 8:37 am

    I think it’s the second – Google realizes that a) local businesses really want to be in the local pack and b) Google thinks that companies will pay to be in the pack.

    Both are those are correct (in my humble opinion) and Google does not want to leave ANY money on the table.

  • Dave Eddy  August 12, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing Andrew. I don’t know if anybody will be surprised by this move from Google. I wonder how much more of the SERP will be taken over by ads in years to come. Interesting…

  • Mike Claggett  August 15, 2014 at 9:52 am

    You would think G would be doing just the opposite in consideration of FB being less expensive to advertise through, provide better targeting and better tools.

    Who knows? But maybe is it a panic reaction to get some of that FB Ad revenue back.

    Does FB have G on at least a little bit of a panic?

  • Dave Eddy  August 15, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I don’t think Google are going to hold back on bringing out new ad products / revenuew streams just because they have a competitor. They’re focussed on what’s best for their bottom online & what’s relevant for their users. They know that the local pack results are extremely relevant for their users, paid or not paid.

  • Steve Hammer  August 27, 2014 at 8:50 am

    It’s an extension of shopping and product listing ads more than a local result. Shopping ads now let you specify if they are online or local. For stuff that can be purchased in store, like a grill, the local stores start to get integrated.

  • Thomas Cha  September 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I stumbled on the whole local scene way back before it was a “thing” when I noticed that my little toy store was beating out Toys ‘R Us. Since then, I have seen a lot of people come and go and a lot of ideas and claims come and go too.

    It seems like too often people focus on tactics and little technicalities than focus on the real goal Google is after; positive user experience. Of course, there are those who focus on this too, but I’m talking about the vast majority.

    Inevitably, those who focus too much on the techniques or strategies seem to tend to end up playing the “Catch Google game”.

    I think if they instead paid more attention to providing good user experience, they might be better off long term. After all, that’s what Google is after too and trying to achieve in their SERPs.

    G’s customers = surfers
    Our customers = surfers too; G is NOT the customer.

    Just my two cents.