Google Local Results showing 3 listings for [glasgow distilery]

Google Strips it Back to Only 3 Local Results, Losing 4

First it was ten, then it was seven, and as of today, it’s now three. Google has taken a scythe to the Local results pack in its SERPS and appears to now only show three results.

Anyone who operates in the local space will be concerned by this change as it marks a major change in the space available on SERPs. The screenshot below shows a local result from Scotland for [glasgow distillery] in which the three-pack is clearly visible:

Google Local Results showing 3 listings for [glasgow distilery]

Why are Google doing this? Simply, we don’t know for sure, but we do know extensive testing has been taking place on the layout of these results, and the new layout does (to a certain degree) resemble that on tablet and mobile devices, so perhaps it is all being done in the name of a more unified user experience that encourages more users to click (or tap) through to extended listings.

There’s also an argument that limiting the available places increases competitiveness and will encourage local businesses who are pushed out of the three-pack to place Ads to recovered lost visibility and traffic.

Alongside this, there is of course the ongoing confusion around Google Local listings, how they are organised and ranked, how exactly organisations can improve their positioning and gain more traffic. Looking at the three results in the map above tells us little about how results are selected other than by geography – two lack reviews entirely and aren’t even distilleries, unless of course Blythswood Square has changed considerably since I was there last week.

Time will tell.

What Have We Been Up To?

As anyone who has worked in an agency environment will know, constant deadlines and constant busy-ness can mean that by the time you’ve caught your breath, as I have done this week, you realise it’s April, spring has sprung and before you know it, the UK General Election will have passed and we’ll be well into summer.

So without further ado, it’s time for a brief update on some of the work team Mackerel has been up to over the last few months!

Thorntons Investments

Regulatory requirements mandated that the investment and financial advice arm of the Dundee law firm Thorntons be spun off into a new company and as such, October 2014 saw the birth of Thorntons Investments as a separate entity.

Headed up by Steven Webster, the team comprises a number of highly experienced investment and mortgage advice professionals and as a measure of their considerable success at launch, the firm had over £315m in client assets under management.

Our role was varied and detailed, ranging from searcher demand analysis, through market analysis, to site structure planning, an on-site SEO plan and advice on content.

activpayroll

Back in late summer 2014, we were challenged by leading global payroll firm activpayroll to deliver a comprehensive SEO strategy and campaign, which naturally we were more than happy to accept. Work started straight away, and continues on a daily basis.

The company’s success story is incredible, and it’s in no small part thanks to founder Allison Sellar’s incredible passion and dedication. She and her team have taken an accountancy firm in Aberdeen and transformed it into a truly global organisation that is taking on some of the world’s largest payroll providers and beating them hands down – long may that continue!

Redwell GB

The end of 2014 saw us delighted to win a contract to provide digital marketing strategy, planning and delivery support to infrared heating company Redwell GB, which is working hard to bring the benefits of modern IR heating to the UK. We’re working with the team to roll out our comprehensive marketing strategy that will see us target a number of key markets in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer over the coming weeks, months and year. It’s a hugely interesting project, with a hugely motivated and committed team behind it – we’re very pleased to be involved.

Glengoyne & Ian Macleod Distillers

Our work with Glengoyne Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky and its parent company Ian Macleod Distillers continues apace, and indeed our services have expanded to cover national and international social media advertising campaigns that have delivered truly staggering audience and engagement levels. A number of exciting projects are underway and under wraps, so watch this space for more.

Eagle Couriers

A little closer to home, we were delighted to be appointed to support Scotland’s leading independent courier firm Eagle Couriers in the planning and development of a new web site. Working closely with partners Holyrood PR and Digijuice, we delivered searcher demand analysis, structural planning, an on-site SEO plan and content optimisation advice. Very happily, the new site enjoys very strong organic search rankings for key search terms!