google local listings reduced

Have you noticed something a little odd going on with the Google Local listings of late? In order to mesh more effectively with their mobile layout, the Google Local listing have been reduced in number from 7 to 3.

This could be a major concern for local businesses that relied on these listings – even appearing at number 4, but with a healthy dose of reviews, used to be enough to drum up trade.

This is a double edged sword; if you’re in those 3 that are displayed, you can expect a climb in the number of contacts you’re going to be getting, but if you’re not, it’s going to affect your sales. It’s not all doom and gloom, as the listings can be opened to deliver more local listings, but of course, that’s an extra click in the way of your conversion.

Pushing things even further, there’s nary a sign of Google+ anymore, further relegating the doomed social network to irrelevance. The business side of things sees to work just fine, with reviews showing as they always have.

There is now an emphasis on opening hours, although your website must have the correct micro data markup within the page.

My opinion? It’s a little too much fashion over function; some businesses will suffer, especially if their website isn’t that strong in the organic listings and that’s a crying shame just so that Google can shoe-horn their mobile experience.

What do you think? Is it affecting your business?

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