If you haven’t noticed Google Maps has been busy making several changes that have increased the importance of local search. In addition to the Google Place Pages, recent guidelines, local ads and mobile coupons Google’s new UI updates are propelling local search forward.
You see that with the new layout the map is now wider and only 5 local results are shown instead of the current 7 results.
Not only are there fewer local results, so the top 5 results are going to receive even more clicks, but the new layout pushes the organic results further down the screen. Your address in local search is one of the most important factors in ranking for desired search queries and with the new layout businesses with longer addresses have the ability to use an additional line, making their listing stand out even more.
Fun Fact: According to Yahoo’s 2009 Year in Review, the hottest zip code in 2009 goes to Fayettevill, N.C. (28306), which is a warning for all business in Fayettevill, make sure you have claimed and optimized your local business listings.
Google’s new layout gives marketers even more fire power to ensure their presence in local search is solid. What type of online reputation does your business have if your local listing doesn’t show for desired queries?