Google Declares Organic vs Local Results War

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Google announced a new dramatic change to the way organic search results are shown for local based business search queries. Instead of having the Google map at the top of the search results (under the sponsored links) Google has instead opted to combine the local results with the main organic results.

The effect of this change is that, long term, any site that doesn’t have a physical address in the location users are searching for will most likely not rank for location based search queries. There are still sites that rank. Some even for hotel related keywords, but I’m sure just like Google instant that these location based results will be the majority of returned results.

How does the algorithm work? This is unclear but it is clear that the location based results have merged with the organic results in the main search section. For the sites that we work on there have been some surprising anomalies. Google is sending users to the homepage instead of the Google local internal pages. The screenshot below shows the new change. As you can see there are still organic results but the chance of someone clicking on them seems almost zilch.

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Comment below on what your company or you have seen & how this is affecting your site.

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