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Google Local SEO: new layout makes it a million times more important

November 28, 2009 32 Comments

Google's new layout (only on, not, so far - or maybe just for me if it's still a test) has increased the importance of local SEO about a million times. Check out these two screenshots of a search for "St Albans offices" - one on and one on

The old look: a map, 7 local results and a web result

The old layout - several local results visible and a web result

The old layout - several local results visible and a web result

Here's the old look (the current one on You see paid results, then a map and 7 local results, and in this screenshot the web result underneath. Exactly what you see depends on your browser size etc (this was taken on quite a big screen).

The new look: a map and 5 local results

The new layout - a couple of local results visible only

The new layout - a couple of local results visible only

Now here's the new look in the same size window. All there is room for in the non-paid results is a much bigger map and five local results (only 5 were shown in the new design). There are web results underneath, but they were way down the screen.

Google local SEO

So if this result is anything to go by, local SEO is going to become even more important:

  • Local results push normal web results way down the screen.
  • There are fewer local results shown - so more traffic for the top few if you can get in them.
  • Each local result has more prominence than it used to, taking up more space on the screen.
  • Having a long address is important as you get an extra line if it's long enough!

Keen watchers of this blog will know that I'm searching for my mum's website (and there it is at the top!) Fortunately, I no longer need worry about her dropping in the web search results due to her 1st place in the local ones. I just need to go and make her address look longer!

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