Monday, August 17, 2015

Google Local Shakeup: Is Your Site Prepared?

As part of Google's plan to "bring a better search experience to our users," the search giant made a number of significant changes last week.  Here are the highlights.


Before this change searches displayed 7 (or more) local results with a map. Now only 3 are displayed

Exact Addresses Removed

Google also removed specific addresses from the listings, only listing the street name.

Phone Numbers Removed

Searchers will no longer have easy access to the phone number of the business.  They now need to click through the listing or get the number from the website.  The mobile version doesn’t display the phone number but does have a “Call” option for each listing.

Store Hours Added

Google added in store hours, including opening and closing times, depending on the time of day of the search.

More details on these changes can be found in this article.

Adding store hours is an improvement, but I'm not sure how forcing the searcher to click on the map or listing for address or phone information results in a "better" experience.

Bottom Line

The bottom line, to me anyway, is that Google is intent on having mobile-friendly or mobile-optimized websites be the norm.  If your site isn't mobile-optimized, the chances of finding it in a generic search have probably dropped. And with key information removed from the search results it may be harder for your customers to find you.

For more information on mobile-optimized websites and how they can benefit your organization, contact R3 Web Solutions.