Google has done an update to their search results output and are now displaying a ten pack of local results on the first page of search results. The ten local businesses that match the search query are showing along side a Google map that pin points their locations.
So what does this mean for local business search? Well it could mean a lot of good things for your local business. Face it ranking for broad terms like lawyer, plumber, salon, locksmith can be very tough. But ranking for Alameda lawyer, or Alameda Plumber can be a whole lot easier and now with Google Ten Packs it becomes even easier.
“This has potentially huge implications for searchers, local business owners, big businesses with a local presence, and search marketers, too. As I wrote on my own blog yesterday, Google is changing the game where local search is concerned. As Andrew Shotland asked, is every search local now? No, but we’re getting there. Google must be very confident in its ability to identify local intent, and its ability to minimize the ongoing map spam problem.” SEOLand
I feel this is great news for local businesses as they will will now be getting exposure on at least hundreds, and probably thousands of prime keywords. But, with Google showing local results on this prime real estate, a big door of opportunity has just opened up. A doctor in Oakland can get visibility on the term “doctor,” but only when local folks type it in.
The way I see it local search is going to continue to become more important for businesses of all sizes to understand and consider as part of their overall search engine marketing strategy or for those not yet doing any it may be time to jump in and gain new customers.