Google is going all in with it’s new Local SEO experiment. The idea of cards for local businesses that give you insight and information about the local business in the search. But it won’t pull from y our places page or your website. It would be custom content geared towards your business built out just for theses cards. Think about it as an ad for your business that shows up BEFORE everything else in a search. It’s still in testing with just a select few businesses at the moment. But think of what this could mean! If you offer a free drink with your meal at lunch, that ad could be places above all your competitor and get you a click and a client before the organic results, and local results have a chance to grab their eye.

What do you think of this change? Will it make it out of beta? If so do you see it as a game changer for local SEO?

Google is experimenting with new “Local Business Cards” in search results. That’s our term not Google’s but it’s a reasonable description of a new “card carousel” test that features content from local businesses near the top of search results. This was first spotted by Mike Blumenthal but I have confirmed with Google that this is a real test. Local Business Cards are built on the same functionality on display with Candidate Cards, launched a few weeks ago. Below are two screenshots that showcase local businesses participating in the test: Healthy Choice Massage and Escape Pod Comics. Right now this is a pure experiment involving a “few dozen” local businesses that Google approached. It’s all custom content and not being drawn from Google My Business or any other feeds. It’s also noteworthy for the fact that it represents the first time that Google has introduced or allowed animation/GIFs on the homepage. The format was created with mobile users in mind but it equally displays in PC results.

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About Gary Cooke

I am a social media strategist and graphic designer with over 10 years of experience in the digital world, including web and user experience design. I have worked with and advised a wide range of clients on social media strategies, and how to present their brand in both the digital and printed worlds.

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