Differentiating Blended Local Results and Pack Results


Mike Wilton

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Since the Venice update and even before that Google has obviously been doing A LOT with local results and how they display the local pack versus the blended local results. What is the clear identifier now in regards to what is a true local pack result and what a blended result? I see a lot of different stuff in the wild depending on the query, search space, etc. Is there a single unique identifier to differentiate between the two? If so I'd LOVE a comparison screenshot if you have one. :D
 

Mike Wilton

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The "Places for query" has been my go to for identifying the non-blended stuff, but I see it less and less. Here is an example:


But then without this I see results with the address below them in the SERPs, which were traditionally the blended format before. Or I see things that look similar to the local pack but say "More results near" or "More results for" but appear exactly the same. So I am just curious to know if there are multiple variations of blended and more importantly are there multiple variations of non-blended. The only thing that seems to hold true is the "Places for..." text, which always displays a local pack.
 

Linda Buquet

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Oh that's an easy one! It used to be easy to tell because the display was totally different. But now display is exactly the same, but I think there may be a 1 pixel difference.

There IS a trick - a very clear and distinct indicator for PACK listings.
But in my training I'm always surprised to find out that it's a trick many consultants don't know.

There is a link above the pack that says "Places for..."



NOTE link above the A listing for "Places for teeth whitening near Chesapeake, VA"
That tells you it's a PACK!




Whereas a search for "Cosmetic Dentist Chesapeake" pulls blended and you can tell it's blended because there is no link at the top.
 

Linda Buquet

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Dang, sorry Mike, I'm having all kinds of computer problems and had a hard time getting my post done due to time-outs. So I was replying to you and Colan's 1st post.

Didn't see your 2nd one so I guess you know that trick. But still some other folks don't.


"But then without this I see results with the address below them in the SERPs, which were traditionally the blended format before. Or I see things that look similar to the local pack but say "More results near" or "More results for" but appear exactly the same. So I am just curious to know if there are multiple variations of blended and more importantly are there multiple variations of non-blended. The only thing that seems to hold true is the "Places for..." text, which always displays a local pack."

Not sure about that. Have not noticed but will try to tune in to see if I can find changes. I have lots of screenshots I can compare to if I think I see something different.
 

Mike Wilton

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Thank you Linda! I just wasn't sure if anything had changed since I NEVER see the "Places for..." these days.
 

Linda Buquet

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Well for quite some time now the PACK results only showed for about 30% of keywords and typically only the lower volume secondary keywords.

I very seldom see PACKS for core keywords like Dentist or Plumber and my guess is the only reason it showed in your screen shot is that must be a pretty small town and the search volume was low???
(Have not checked that market, just making an assumption.)

But you are right, I'm seeing packs less and less these days too.
 
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This thread made me curious, because I realized I'm not seeing that pack indicator much (ever?) these days. I tried some small town searches for both core and secondary terms and couldn't get the 'Places for...' message for anything I tried. Thanks for bringing this up, Mike. Packs definitely look like a dying breed from where I sit.
 

garethbrown

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Hi, I've noticed the same here in the UK. Whilst doing some recent research, I have found searches in or near large towns/cities always trigger blended. And smaller towns or villages give mixed results. With these, I've been able to trigger both by swapping the search query and location. e.g.

village + dentist = local pack
dentist + village = blended

Has anyone else noticed this?
 

Colan Nielsen

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Just did a bunch a searches with city + keyword and the reverse in Canada and I'm only seeing blended.
 

Mike Wilton

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Pack is mostly dead, it took me FOREVER to find an actual query that delivered it. Thankfully I knew Bremerton was a small town in Washington thanks to a song from my youth and it worked. haha

Thank you all for the feedback.
 

Linda Buquet

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This thread made me curious, because I realized I'm not seeing that pack indicator much (ever?) these days. I tried some small town searches for both core and secondary terms and couldn't get the 'Places for...' message for anything I tried. Thanks for bringing this up, Mike. Packs definitely look like a dying breed from where I sit.
Just saw a pack for a core term AND it's oddly only a 3 pack. Yes, it's a fairly small town but not THAT small and there are over 100 listings. Maybe a lot more, I only went to page 10 in Place search then stopped counting.

Carlsbad Dentist - Shows 3 pack (Pack style not blended) for me no matter how I set search location.
https://www.google.com/search?hl=en...S448US345&biw=1680&bih=858&q=carlsbad+dentist


Bet the other 100+ Dentists in town aren't happy with those 2 practices wracking up doubles on top and locking the rest out.

And that BTW is another telltale sign that it's the old "pack". If you see the same exact home page in the pinned results and the organic, as above. (They are 2 separate listings instead of being combined as they are in the blended results.)
 

Keenan Glass

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I thought the core pack had been extinct for some time, so I could never figure out what you guys were talking about. But Joy assured me it still existed and showed me how to identify it, so it's still a good question.
 

Linda Buquet

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FYI just lately am starting to see more of the old pack style listings show even for core terms like Dentist and Plumber, but still mainly in pretty small towns like the ones above.
 
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Thanks for all of this info Linda.

Unlike everyone else, I am actually seeing a few "pack" results and for some competitive keywords as well.

Could it be because Google has decided that the 3 in the pack are way ahead of the others in terms of links/most authoritative. Is there any logic attached to it? :confused:
 

Linda Buquet

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Actually I didn't mention it in this thread but I have in others, I've been seeing more packs over the past couple months too. It LOOKED like they were fading away and I'd seldom see them. Now it seems they may be making a come back.

I think either they are testing OR they just like to mix things up to keep us disoriented. :rolleyes:
 

Linda Buquet

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Another example just stumbled on I had in bookmarks.

Poway Dentist - Core KW but smaller town. Double #1 due to being PACK style layout.

 

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