More evidence of changes to Google SERPs
Google’s search engine results pages have undergone a huge number of changes in the last 12 months. A few of those changes the integration of Google Places for blended organic search results; the inclusion of site links; the addition of more visually appealing colour and of course, the Google +1 button; bullet points in meta descriptions as well as testing on new positions for ads (below organic search results) and infinite scrolling results pages instead of separate pages.
The latest change shows evidence of a new development in how Google Places appears in search results with the map location appearing opposite the title. The letter annotation illuminates as you hover over it and the preview presents a preview of the Google Places listing, rather than the website.
What do these Places changes mean for Australian businesses?
The preview of the Google Places listing instead of your website underpins the need to have a fully optimised Places listing including images, videos (if available) and reviews as well as all the information you can provide in terms of opening hours, methods of payment etc. The more complete your listing looks, the more appealing it is to click on.
It also reinforces the need for a Google Places optimisation as part of a comprehensive search engine marketing strategy geared at generating more local traffic to your business. The majority Australians research online before buying offline according to recent data from Nielsen – can your business afford not to be listed on Google Places?