SearchEngineLand has reported that Google has been testing a change to the 3-pack local listing functionality on mobile devices. Following the changes to local listings late last year with the Google Possum update, this new change is a very interesting occurence.

What Is This Test?

Last year Google announced that local searches were becoming 50% of total searches, and now it seems like they are finally trying to monetise it. As per SearchEngineLand’s report, Google has been replacing the standard 3-pack local listing with Local Inventory Ads on the odd occurence.

As shown in the image below, product ads are showing up instead of the normal Google My Business pages. And when you click on them, it takes you to the Google landing page for that ad.

This replacement is a pretty major change as it removes the Google My Business listings entirely, completely altering the landscape of local searches.

So What Does That Mean For Us?

Well, if you’ve been following the changes to rankings and local searches, you’ll know that it has been really important to optimise your Google My Business page. However, this is possibly now more necessary than ever. Why?

Because if this test gets rolled out globally, or even nationally, then the amount of times that organic local listings are shown will be decreased considerably. So, you need to make sure you are seen as much as possible! On top of that, you need to make sure your listing is as attractive as possible… Click Through Rate Optimisation of Google My Business pages is now becoming far more important.

But, that’s not all! Are you running product listing ads for an ecommerce site? If so, then now is definitely the time to look into Local Inventory Ads as part of your strategy! You may have noticed that there is also an option listed for “Store Pickup”. This is an intergral part of why you should look into these types of ads. You can drive more orders through the ads, whilst also increasing the number of people who come to your physical store. At that point, the possibility of ups-ell comes into play, so it can really help you build up your profit margins overall!

So There You Have It

It really is time to look into fully optimising your Google My Business page whilst also planning out a full strategy to make use of the Local Inventory Ads.

Have you been working on your local listing rankings? Are you using or looking into Local Inventory Ads? Let me know in the comments below!

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