A huge change in the local search results. For approximately 300 business categories the familiar local 7 pack has been replaced by the carousel search results and only the carousel search results.
You’ve probably seen the carousel for various search results. For select business categories, primarily around the dining and entertainment, when a search was conducted the carousel with thumbnails appeared at the top of the page. And the familiar 7 pack or 3 pack (SEO talk for what essentially looked like telephone directory listings) appeared in the body of the search results.
But now, the directory like listings of the local search results is gone and only the carousel listings remain.
This may create some backlash from both customers and businesses. With the traditional local 7 pack listing it is easy to see a list of businesses, their address, and phone numbers. But now, with just the carousel across the top of the search results it isn’t as easy to access the phone numbers.
To see the phone number and address for a business you need to click on the thumbnail in the carousel. You are then greeted with a search result page completely dedicated to that business. The familiar Google directory listing is at the top of the page and there is a large information card for the business in the right column with the business name, address, phone number, reviews, and other relevant information.
Although this page provides the customer with just about everything they would like to know about the business it isn’t as convenient to readily see addresses and phone numbers for several businesses at once. However, it is possible that consumers may like this new layout better once they get used to it.
The experience on an iPad search is interesting. If you use the Google browser the search results appear in the familiar 7 pack. However, if you use the Safari browser the search results also appear in a carousel across the top. When you touch a thumbnail, the critical information for that business immediately appears on your screen. Interestingly, on the iPad it seems easier to quickly compare the information from each business.
On the iPhone, the traditional 7pack appears on both the Google browser and Safari. And it also appears that way in the Google browser on Android.