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Google Place Search - Maps now above right hand Adwords column

 10:27 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is anyone seeing maps on the top right hand spot above adwords?

Only 3 adwords slots are above the fold and no organic search results are showing for one of the categories i monitor.


Robert Charlton

 10:43 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I assume these local or geo related results. Is this in any way a variant of this type of result, discussed back in August?...

Google Tests Local Search with NO Organic Results
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4186748.htm [webmasterworld.com]

"No organic" turned out to be a misleading description of what people were seeing.


 10:45 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, the experimental phase for this did begin back in August. Now it is a full scale rollout - something Google is calling "Place Search"

Place Search results will begin appearing automatically on Google when we predict you’re looking for local information. In addition, you’ll find a new link for “Places” in the left-hand panel of the search results page so you can switch to these results whenever you want.


See the linked article for a screenshot. What the static screenshot can't show is that the Map scrolls with the page, even covering the Adwords at times.


 10:57 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyone seeing traffic drops due to this yet? .... must have been done a few hours back.

( btw - I'm clarifying I'm seeing no organic listings above the fold - maybe it's different for others )


 11:07 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I tried a few local searches and I seem to be getting two types of result:

One has two organic listings, followed by a bunch of local listings, with a map on the right.

The other starts with 7 local listings with the usual "local business results" header, has the map on the right, and follows the local results with 10 organic results.


 11:09 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing no organic listings above the fold

Take a very close look. A result may have a red Places tag but still be organic (title, meta, clickthrough).


 11:29 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

It must depend on the category - I now see what you describe in other listing groups, but it's the case that business listings , 3 adwords slots and the map are all above the fold for the categories i watch.

However, I am now noticing rotations on different terms e.g. 3 organic slots are being moved to the top, and local listings are being moved down , so maybe Google is mixing things up a bit to see better what the effects are.

For a local search for " tradesmen in a location " there are only 3 organic listings on the entire page.

Goodbye Yellow Pages ( or maybe they enhanced the deal )


 12:40 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm using the experiment link and seeing organic listings connected to places pages on competitor sites, but not seeing my local data associated to my organic listing. Did I miss something when setting up my places page/website?


 1:41 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

City Name + Keyword = Up to 10 brick and mortar businesses + a map in the right column. (No organic on page 1 if 10 locations exist)


 4:15 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

kevinboss, it looks like you still get 7 local listings (A-G) so if you didn't rank in them to start with, you wouldn't get it you organic and places listing linked.

I'm getting 1-3 sponsored then 1-3 organics followed by the local results & occasionally they throw a few video/image results among the local listings, moving the rest of the organics even further down the page.

A search on "plumber" gives me:
3 AdWords ads
1 Organic listing
5 Local listings
1 Video (2 videos, side by side)
2 Local listings
6 Organics - No 2 Organic listing is now the 13th result on the page
1 News


 4:23 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm a bit frustrated because it still hasn't rolled out for me. But during the testing phase I saw, most of the results were organic. Even though they had a red Places tag (click on that and you go to a Places page) the main result, including the click-through URL, title and snippet were organic. The red Places tag just made them LOOK like Local Search results.


 4:27 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Before the SERPs where dominated by aggregator sites / vertical directories like hotel booking sites, museum directories, etc.
Now there are local results (in my example: hotels, museums) and sometimes just a few organic listings at the bottom.


 4:30 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

How are others seeing Google instant in conjunction with this?

( i can't access it for some reason ).


 4:33 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

It displays the map in conjunction with search terms as they are entered.

For example if [blue widget] doesn't have map and [blue widgets] does then as you enter the s in instant search the map displays in top right.

imo. belch. i don't like this. nothing better to do at the plex?


 4:36 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

What about if a location term is your first word - does the map / layout hold ?


 4:43 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have put up some screen shots for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

[s59.photobucket.com...] Please remove if it's not allowed


 4:45 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

using [tampa blue widgets] as example

t gives me a map of local targets
ta = same
tamp = no map
tampa = no map
tampa b = map of other unrelated popular product
tampa bl = map of places stays in top right until [ue widgets] search completed


 4:56 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

now does anyone still think Marissa Mayer moving to local was a sort of punishment? :)


 5:18 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

fyi -
Mayer has notable public involvement with Google Search and Gmail, and can be considered significantly responsible for the success of these UIs. Fortune magazine lists her as one of the 50 most powerful women in the world and the youngest woman ever to make the list. She is credited with shaping the design of Google Maps, Google Earth, iGoogle, and more [en.wikipedia.org...]

Is Google's aim to have an inconsistant experience - nothing seems to stay the same for long these days.


 5:20 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

briggidere, thanks for the screenshots. They confirm what I've been saying. Just because there is a red Places tag under a ranking doesn't mean it's not organic - it still is. It's an organic ranking with a Places tag added if your page has one.

Robert Charlton

 5:41 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google has a test link posted for the query [chicago museums]....

http://www.google.com/search?q=chicago+museums&esrch=LocalMergeImpl::Experiment [google.com]

The results are organic results, but the order of results is somewhat different on the two displays, at least as searched from my browser in my location.

tedster noted in the earlier thread...
And did anyone else notice that Adwords were pushed DOWN the page by the local map?

Here, on the test display anyway, the AdWords are not pushed down by the map. Rather, they're covered up as the map bumps into the top of the browser frame and stays in place as you scroll down. I suspect that Google will make adjustments in this area.


 6:08 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

No problem tedster.

I don't think they are all organic with places tagged to them though. I don't want to doubt your brilliance, but one of my Adwords clients is on those pages and was ranked 23rd but did have a good listing on places. They still have this organic rank as well as the places 1st page listing.

I think they have just linked your organic title and description to the places listing.

They are also showing 16 results excluding the AdWords and I haven't seen that organically before.


 6:30 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's an organic ranking with a Places tag added if your page has one

Gotcha ... and if it doesn't, or you can't call yourself "local" you're out of the mix. So purely organic listings are part of the latter.

Is that correct ?


 6:37 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't believe they are organic. I have a client who had a places listing and is also ranking 23 for the same term organically. The 23 organic listing is still there and she has even more exposure on the home page because of this places change

Robert Charlton

 7:15 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think they have just linked your organic title and description to the places listing.

On the [chicago museums] pages Google shows via its test link, all of those links are to the organic sites.

In the current Google Updates thread [webmasterworld.com...] chrislloyd515 mentioned seeing these being tested in Singapore on Oct 18-19... returning for [singapore hotel] a listing of local hotels along with some major local directories.

Pieces of my reaction in that discussion are perhaps worth repeating here, with a bit of emphasis added...

I've been seeing various results [for] certain kinds of geo searches... and hotels in particular... where it's appeared that Google is going in this direction, of returning some major directory-style sites, but increasingly being the über-directory itself. It goes a little bit with Google's not liking to return search results within search results.

I can see this organizational principle being applied to a huge range of queries, though, not just geo queries, and it would have seismic implications to e-commerce and directory-style sites if Google went much further in that direction.

I think that Google's branding algo is naturally pulling them this way... it appeared that Google was on the brink of sorting data differently.


 6:07 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

Today I start seeing the Google.com.sg showing the search result with Google Place in broad term keyword like "Travel" , "Insurance" , "Restaurant" when I search with Google-account logon. It shows Google places as majority result. This is interesting to move fast on local SEO strategy for local business client. Another interesting thing, Google start showing the significant result when you sign-in with Google account.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:29 am (utc) on Oct 28, 2010]


 7:45 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes I saw this too yesterday, but it showed up only in Chrome. Internet Explorer and Firefox didn't show.

Today, the Places option is available in Firefox, not in Internet Explorer.

Also, in Chrome hovering over a search result, makes the background blue and the I can click the link for a preview of the site. Not happening in IE and Firefox.

Copying the search URL from Chrome to Firefox/IE shows "Search option isn't currently available".

here's a video: [youtube.com...]
(comments are in Dutch)


 8:15 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

so to sum up. If you have just a directory site that presents local businesses but do not own any of these businesses - a middleman - you are out.


 8:17 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Right... so I'm now currently seeing my business place listing as 3rd with no organic link... before we had an organic link as 5th.

I'm trying to understnad how this may look if the same phrase was entered in a different part of the country..... would our places link be replaced and we drop down to an organic link or what?

Robert Charlton

 8:32 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

A note that Silvery had first broken the news about this layout in the Webmasterworld Local forum when early tests were beginning to appear, back in July....

Google's trying an experimental layout of local SERPs
Google's experimenting with a new layout for keyword SERPs of local queries
http://www.webmasterworld.com/local_search/4169444.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Thoughts on the implications?

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