Google 7-Pack Replaces 10-Pack
As a firm with multiple local clients, we constantly monitor Google’s local map results. Well, as of yesterday, the familiar local map with 10 listings begin (familiarly called the 10-pack) now yields seven listings; so now, a new SEO term is born: the 7-pack. Note however, that selecting the “more results” link at the bottom of the map results is unchanged: it still takes the user through successive lists of 10 results. There is some chatter in Webmaster forums that seems to indicate that the change is being implemented worldwide. Certainly, the seven pack is fully in place in the United States and Australia.
The Ranking Order Appears Largely Unaffected by 7-Pack
Naturally, we wondered if the fundamental ranking algorithm was altered along with this change; ultimately, it’s the ranking order which concerns online marketers. Along with the 7-pack change, we examined several key phrases for which we monitor local results. It appears that the order of local Google listing results is largely unaffected from the rankings of a week or two ago, although read on for some other changes.
Welcome Change: Multiple Listings Reduced to One
We also wondered about several businesses in markets that we monitor that had submitted, successfully, multiple listings in the Google maps section. These multiple listings have consistently been a frequent complaint about Google local. In at least one keyword family in our local market of Austin, Texas, we have monitored one of these unscrupulous advertisers that obtained three listings on the front page results of Google maps, and through the use of obviously fake reviews, was able to maintain those listings consistently. The recent change appears to have filtered out these multiple results.
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