Andy_Locably - 11:02 pm on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)
Hi Silvery I caught your tweet re this discussion and hi Linda I did see your initial posts & screen shots re the new local SERP.
I haven't been able to replicate any of the beta SERPs here in the UK however I do see the new one box "place page" re-brand which hit us on 9th July... the one box SERP is roughly the same, the map box is the same size as it was, but now there is a non-clickable business name header, a clickable "places-page" link and a map pin to the left of the business name.
I suspected the removal of the hyper-linked business name (anchor text) was on the cards for some months. Analysing many of my clients Google Places stats I could see of all the actions taken by users from a local search only 5-10% of these were a click through to the Google Place Page (using the more info, reviews or write a review links), 90-95% were click direct to the clients business website or landing page.
I always thought Google was missing a trick, with all their promotion and development of the Google Places service, users are just clicking straight to the business website from the SERP, completely by-passing the very page that Google has been at pains to format and standardise so users see relevant local business data for their local search.
Now they have removed this link for one box results and I'm guessing this will be replicated through to the 2 / 3 / 7 packs soon or even when the brand new beta local SERP rolls.