Those of you with a keen eye on SERPs may have noticed a very subtle change to how Google is compiling and presenting its local search results, but it isn’t displaying all of the time, so I suspect Google is once again going through a testing phase.
It seems that for some searches, Google is retrieving links to other local search sites and not just from Google+ Places Pages. See the screen shot below:
The appearance of the “Additional choices for local search” window reads:
“We have added some links to other local search sites that may help you find places for your search. Clicking on them will take you straight to results for your query on these sites”
This dialogue box isn’t appearing for all searches with local intent yet, but Google could be about to roll it out across the board.
If you click on these links, you’ll be taken to those directories, which means that Google is driving traffic to other local search sites, and consequently, the importance of having apresence on these Google approved directories cannot be over emphasised.
We already know that your business should have a Google+ Places Page as standard practice to perform well in local search; however, in light of this update, perhaps it’s time businesses fully acknowledged the importance of other local search sites like Yell, 118 and Yelp.
If other directory listings from local search sites are about to be promoted on Google’s first page, I predict that it’s definitely the right time to make your local search strategy a priority.
*We’re actually unable to reproduce this, so if you have seen this box, please take a screen shot and place it in the comments below*