How to Take Advantage of Google’s Latest Maps Search Testing

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Like a demanding chef constantly adjusting the recipe to a signature dish, Google has been back in the kitchen tweaking its ingredients once more—this time to the maps results page. Known as the “snack pack,” these are the business listings triggered based on local search queries.

Are you planning on doing a Google Maps bar search before heading out for St. Patrick’s Day libations?  Here’s what it may look like for you:

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Check out the left side drop down menu. The pub names, addresses, and visitor review snippets remain the same, but where there once was a pin showing the immediate map area, now the local pack displays unique images. Specifically, you will find a Street View, store logo or picture gathered from their Google+ profile page.

Also take note of the bottom entry: Duggan’s Boundary, an otherwise lovely little neighbourhood pub, is stuck with a bland placeholder image. Doesn’t make for a very enticing result, does it?

How to configure your image

To avoid having an awkward Street View or boring placeholder picture represent your store in Google’s latest search pack tests:

  • Login to your dealership’s Google My Business profile page.
  • Click on Manage photos.
  • At the top-right, click on the three vertical dots button to choose which one of your uploaded images you’d like to show up.

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What these tests could mean  

At the moment, we can’t say whether Google will make these maps listings changes official or they are simply playing around with different layouts. But then again, nothing much is permanent with Google!

However, your main takeaways from all this is twofold:

  1. Google is placing greater emphasis on businesses claiming their Google+ pages and keeping them fresh and full of relevant information.
  2. Google wants to see whether users find it more useful to have a logo or exterior/interior picture represent local search inquires.

If Google does decide to make any longstanding switches, you’ll want to ensure that your store listing has an eye-catching logo or store shot accompanying it.

Having trouble managing your dealership’s Google My Business profile? Give Strathcom a shout at omm@strathcom.com or 1-888-914-1444.

 

 

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