Google Search has updated the map in the local pack within the web search results from a static map to an interactive map. The new interactive map allows you to zoom, pan, hover and click to see more details on the map. Previously, clicking on the map just took you into the Google Maps interface.
What is new. When you do a search in Google Search and the local pack comes up showing you nearby businesses that match your query, you can now hover your mouse over the map and see the businesses, their reviews, zoom in and out of the map, drag the map around to see more places or click on a listing directly in the map interface.
Here is a GIF I made of this in action:
Note, this may also appear on the right hand side of the three local listings.
How does this impact local search? Allie Margeson, who first spotted this change, said “businesses that aren’t ranking in the top 3 positions may still have a pin on the map, and now a searcher can hover over that pin and see the business’s review stats at a glance.” This is why, she said, reviews may now be even more important than before – because those customers can quickly see those reviews and decide to click or not click on your listing.
Why we care. It is too early to tell if this will have a significant impact on local search and local businesses. But you should note that this change went live over the past couple of days and pay more attention to your local reviews going forward.
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