Head's Up! New Google Maps Update Coming - May Affect Local SEO

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,436
Since Google I/O is coming up next week, so are more changes - including a new update to Google maps that could rock our world!

Below is breaking news about a new Google Maps update that's coming. See Screenshots.
No left search results! No more A, B, C Rankings???


<a href="http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2013/05/new-google-maps-interface.html">New Google Maps Interface</a>

Google is about to launch a new interface for Google Maps. The update will remove the sidebar and will display everything on top of the full-screen map. One of the new features lets you restrict local search results to places recommended by top reviews or your Google+ circles.
In this screenshot:

new-google-maps-2.jpg
Image & Story Credit Alex Chitu

It shows option to see Places from "Top Reviewers" from "Your Circles" (There's that G+ coming into play again!) Or you can click to see a "List of Top Results". Wonder what that list looks like???

I commented in our thread here about the fact that Places Search was just removed:

Soooo with Places search and "more results near" link gone, that left folks to search on Google Maps.

BUT now Map search results on the left that shows who ranks A, B, C etc will be gone too???

So there will be no local rankings??? Just a bunch of listings showing up on a map??? Like in the screen shot below. Then you have to make an extra click to see a list?
Hat tip: Daniel C Berman shared the link to the top story in the thread about Places Search and "More Results Near" link being removed from Google search. But I thought this was important news that warranted it's own thread, so I started a new one here.

Here is a post from Search Engine Land about it too: Google Maps To Get A Major Design Overhaul

Really I wonder what local search and local SEO is going to look like in 6 months?
My sense is that things are about to change radically over the next couple months.


 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,436
Well, if you guys are out of a job so am I! :p

But don't worry! Local will still be around and folks will still need help with ranking, it just may look different and the algo may be different. Then we get to figure it all out again. And folks hire us because we are on the bleeding edge and understand how it all works. Until... the next big change. Then we adapt to that one too and just keep truckin'! :)

Love the title by the way!
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,188
But don't worry! Local will still be around and folks will still need help with ranking, it just may look different and the algo may be different. Then we get to figure it all out again. And folks hire us because we are on the bleeding edge and understand how it all works. Until... the next big change. Then we adapt to that one too and just keep truckin'! :)
Well said Linda. Inspiring :)

That's exactly it. That's why this is such a great corner of the online marketing world.

Thanks for posting this exciting update.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
82
Your welcome Colan! I feel like I have been bumbling around here lately, but I want to learn and I enjoy catching things that represent turning points in the SEO field even if I don't quite catch the significance of why or how yet.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,521
Thanks a bunch, Daniel. Great catch!

Two words sum up my first impressions of the new Maps layout:

Apple Maps
 

DarrenW

Inactive
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
12
Looks like reviews, especially from top reviewers are going to be even more important, I better start trying to become one! :p
 

kellylarson

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
11
I am really interested to see how reviews will play into this change. Collecting reviews and getting them to stick has been frustrating at times in recent months. Do we think this process will improve as well...or intentionally stay a challenge to level the playing field? Love to hear your thoughts.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,521
@Kelly

Great questions. My two cents:

The reviews aspect isn't going to change much, if at all. Google's filter eased up around the very beginning of the year, so it's back to being more or less doable to get Google reviews. But I don't see it ever being as easy as it was 2-3 years ago.

How reviews will play into the "Maps" facelift is anybody's guess, of course.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
82
I think Google may have given us a hint about this back in 2011. Has anybody played around with Google Hotel Finder? - https://www.google.com/hotels/

Here's the SEW Launch Article Google Launches Hotel Finder, Steps Up Travel Search Game - Search Engine Watch (#SEW)

I ran a forum search for it and I didn't find any discussion about it so here goes. Here's a search for Dallas, TX, USA

GoogleHotelFinder.jpg

Run a search for any major city and then compare the map display against the possible new Google Maps update. You'll see pictures, reviews, star ratings, and prices all lined up against a geographic map of the region with a very similar motif. I am wondering if they ran Hotel Finder as a test case and now they are simply expanding the functionality beyond hotels and into everything else.

 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,436

Local Search Forum


Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe


Google Product Exert

@LocalSearchLink

Join Our Facebook Group

Top