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Local Goes Big In Google's Search Results

Literally. Google’s local listing in their search results are now larger then the organic listings. Take a look at this Google search for “Hawaii Big Island real estate.”

Google Local dominating search results

The first 7 listings are large local results with only 6 natural listings below.

The reason this search was interesting to me is because I noticed in Hawaii Life’s Google Webmaster Tools that I had lost -37% of the click throughs for this search term. As you can see in the image above, the second Local listing is for my brokerage, Hawaii Life Real Estate, but this wasn’t the case last Friday when I first noticed the loss in traffic. In fact, I was not listed in the local results at all, and my 6th place organic result was now the last listing on the page. That explains the loss in traffic!

Well, going  back to a previous blog post I wrote, Using Google Local to Leapfrog Past your Real Estate Competition, I tuned up my Google Local listing and now I’m getting more traffic from this search result then I was previously.

About Justin Britt

Justin Britt (justin@hawaiilife.com) is Head of Innovation and Co-Founder of a little Hawaii Real Estate company. Britt oversees user interface design, SEO, programming, public relations and social media for Hawaii's 6th largest and fastest growing real estate brokerage.

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  • OK, as this is all so new, I’m learning more and more about the local results by the minute. It appears these large Google results have something to do with the natural listings. Though I can say that improving your optimization for these effects the natural listings as well. I’ll keep everyone posted as I learn more.

    • Justin, Thanks for sharing this information. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve one’s Google Local Listing position?

  • Here’s Google’s official announcement on Place Search:

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/place-search-faster-easier-way-to-find.html

  • While this will certainly benefit some marketers and other businesses, I believe that Google’s search results are getting way to busy. With the mix of local, social, and everything else peppered in, I’m finding less and less relevant results for many of my searches and am using Bing far more often because of it.

    • Aloha Joshua: I couldn’t agree with you more. Google’s results are getting busy. As a search engine marketer, though, I have to use what is given to me, and currently, Google continues to dominate the percentage of searches being done. I can say, though, that I didn’t like Google Instant at first, and now it has really grown on me. Maybe Google Places will grow on me too. I do like that it gives local companies the opportunity to compete against mega sites with millions of dollars backing them. So for that I applaud Google for sticking up for the little guy.

  • At first blush, I am not a fan of what is happenign with Google local, especially since I have not focused on this and my results are poor:) I am seen a lot of very poor results on the first page as a result of this. It looks like it has changed at least once since it came out but I am still trying to learn as much as I can about this.

  • @Joshua and @Justin you guys are on the right track. Google is so over worked right now and way too busy. It is such a production that needs to be sorted out before you actually get the results you want/ need. It is amazing that a company born out of such simplicity has made things so complicated.

  • Ya I have been trying to figure out how they optimize the local search in our area there are a couple that always pop up at the top, and they are out of business…

  • Brian Wilson

    Great information, I had no idea. I agree with many of you that this seems counter productive for Google. They are tops because they nailed relevant results. Nearby does not equate to relevant necessarily.

  • It seems like verifying a local profile is very difficult for small business owners to grasp…but it’s SOOOO important!

  • I have also lost traffic from my organic listings since they implemented teh 7pack and 9pack local listings pages. Updating and adding to my local listings is on the top of my to do list as soon as I get back from the Christmas holiday.

  • I’ve already bookmark this article and will definitely refer this article to all my close friends and colleagues. Thanks for posting!

  • I second Josh Dorkin. Too much information that may not be the best options for an average user..bing is looking more and more attractive..

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