Robert_Charlton - 9:21 pm on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)
Thanks, CaptainSalad2. To quote Catalyst, "perfect!"
I'm assuming that you have your default number of results per page set as 10. If so, Google is making several departures from previous results I've seen.
For a few years now, notably since 2010 but I'm sure going back further, Google has been using Local results as a test bed, testing not only the interface, but also user preferences for pages within a site. Google has also been evaluating, on searches with no placename in the query, how much geo-specificity to apply. Additionally, Google results without placename can often be characterized (to quote Greg Boser) as "hyper-local".
Early on, in the mixture of Local 7-pack and organic, Google returned the Local 7-pack results, with a reduced number of purely organic results... say, 3-directories up top of the 7-pack and maybe 2 or 3 below. Depends, of course, on the place. In results your image shows, there are 9 organic results in addition to the Local 7-pack, plus the major local directory search links.
I don't see yelp or 118 normally returned in any other local SERP (that I watch anyway
That's an interesting contrast I'm seeing to some local service searches. While 118.com must be big in the UK, it hasn't penetrated in the US to my knowledge at all. And I don't see Yell all that often in my local searches.
Yelp, though, has been dominating local US organic searches, to the point where I've been seeing numerous complaints about it on the forum for a while. On a local service search I monitor, eg, there's a non-profit up at the top, then a 6-pack, and then 5 (five) organic Yelp results and three non-Yelp organic results... 9 organic in all, but over half of them Yelp.
I'm wondering whether Google will adjust the directory choices depending upon how predominant they are in a particular local query.
Ever since the introduction of Universal, Google's been constantly resolving issues of how much exposure to give different types of results. Google's obviously now looking at ways to cluster the results of these popular directories, and this may be either a test or a long-term attempt to do that.
The directory search links expose more sites within a given amount of page real estate, but require an extra click to find Yelp results....
Question: Is this an extra click plus an extra search, or just an extra click?
It doesn't seem to be a bad choice, but it may reduce click-throughs that the directory listings "deserve". Hard for me to say. I know that Google has the numbers, and Google is number driven... and it's trying to maximize user satisfaction on its own site. So I consider this relentless A-B testing.
It should also be noted that Google is showing some localized results (big city hotels, eg), with the Knowledge Graph slider, up at the top. Much harder to get extract "named entities" from geo-associated service providers, so we're unlikely to see service provider carousels for a while.