If you have been creating Google search related software for small businesses, especially since the beginning of Google Maps and Google search, then you know that Google has changed a lot in the last 12-13 years. From being a NO-ADS search display to a point now where most of the above the fold results are now Adwords supplied
- In the beginning Google used to show only occasional ads, even when you were searching for local businesses. The 7 or 10 pack (with map) used to take up most of the front page results.
- Even before that, there was no local pack results for SMB’s, there used to plain organic search results.
- Then came the adwords era, and now Ads are displayed top, right and the bottom of the results.
- After a lot of experiments, Google decided to do away with the right side of the results (since most people don’t naturally look there).
- Google now displays specific Small business LOCAL ADS to make you prominent in Maps search results.
- Google now displays personalized cards for people, and search results depend on lots of different signals, including what your friends and locality is searching for.
- Google wants to promote Google Home, which doesn’t have a screen, any idea what will happen then?
Google is always experimenting, thinking about new ways to make search more useful for their users. Very interestingly, Google is now displaying relevant stories for local searches (below the map and mixed in with organic search results). This has huge implications for local seo and now seo companies have to take this into consideration, and you as a small business owner will have to take content seriously.