I was conducting a Google search on my iPhone to check on clients local pack rankings. With all of the volatility surrounding local due to the Bedlam update, this has become routine for me.
I noticed on Saturday, December 14th around 10 PM EST, website snippets were getting pulled into the local pack (examples included below).
This was the first time I had ever seen the website snippets enter the local results. I mentioned this on Twitter and got confirmation from the SEO community that they hadn’t seen this either (View Twitter thread). Currently, I’m referring to the website populating in the local pack as the Google Local Pack Snippet. As you’ll see later on in this blog post, it’s not just a website snippet that’s populating underneath each business name.
Below, you can see an example for a search I did for, “Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyers.”
Below are four interesting observations I noticed:
1. It wasn’t just the homepage that was pulling in. It was the Medical Malpractice page.
2. It wasn’t each and every business populating in the local pack that had the website snippet populating. It seems that Google is being selective for the truly local businesses that have this information reflected somewhere on their website.
3. This wasn’t just for service based businesses. I did a search for “Gas Stations Near Me” (I was going to a Cardinals vs. Browns game in Glendale. Please have sympathy for me since I was rooting for the Browns ). Below you can see that the Google Local Pack Snippet is pulling from the locations page on the Circle K website. (Note: I’m not sure if the gas prices getting pulled in is a new feature).
4. Bryan Passanisi couldn’t replicate the results I was seeing on my iPhone but when he searched for, “Wine Bars in San Jose” he was seeing “Top-Rated Bar in San Jose” as a local pack snippet.
It should be noted that since Saturday, December 16th, I’ve been able to continuously see the Google Local Pack Snippet on my iPhone when conducting searches from the Google App. I was able to see the Local Pack Snippets for a short period of time on Safari in the evening on Saturday, December 14th, but it went away 2-3 hours later. I’ve not yet been able to see the local pack snippets on desktop.
This to me is a great move if Google fully rolls this out. It never made sense to me on mobile that the only option was to call a business. I believe the website snippets along with other snippets populating will better differentiate spam versus legitimate businesses as there seems to be a correlation between the websites local information, organic rank and the site snippet that’s getting pulled in.