Google is now looking to improve user experience on search result pages as well. The new update is known as “Google Local Business Cards”, but the name is not official as yet.
At the start of this year, Google launched a type of virtual candidate cards for U.S presidential campaign, aiding candidates to reach searchers and voters online. Searches could find out candidates quickly and get updates of primary results. At that point of time, no one knew Google had bigger plans for surprising businesses and media gurus.
Updates So Far
You will be more than excited to read what Google has in the bag for local businesses. So, here’s what Toronto search engine optimization experts have found out about these local business cards so far.
Over the past few months, the search engine giant has been testing this particular feature, which looks identical to candidate card, on SERPs.
Known unofficially as Google Posts, this features has been in the testing phase. Although, local and international businesses can request in for invitation, it rests on Google to give approval. People have been waiting for a while now, and only few of them have received a positive node.
Experts and observers say that Local Business Card from Google will allow local businesses to promote certain content and services in the card carousel, at the top of the SERPs. Moreover, there will be visual previews and promotional information as well.
Users can scroll local business cards horizontally, and see other posts centered around the keywords and phrases they entered in the query bar.
Under normal circumstances, SERP results contain three-pack feature that automatically returns three top local businesses related to the search term. Since Google continues to favor HTML, AMP and now the new feature in the form of Local Business Cards, the local search industry is in for a really big challenge, yet again.
About Local Business Cards
The cards will be quite intuitive to searchers because of the resemblance with the related-image carousel. With searchers expecting to see answers displayed in search results, most of them won’t be too surprised to see such changes. In fact, some of them would hardly notice the change.
With Google Local Business Cards, the methodology for indexing will surely update. Traditional methodology takes into account some factors, such as domain authority, link authority, content and NAP citations. But this feature seems more concerned with popularity, just like the way Wikipedia articles appear.
This step from Google seems like they are continuing to devalue the influence of backlinks when it comes to the display on search results.
What Industry is Speculating
According to industry leaders, there will winners and losers, like before. This tends to happen with every Google update. For the time being, these changes will only apply to local businesses, such as e-commerce stores. Plus, most of the local brick-and-mortar businesses could lose significant amount of traffic to their sites.
Businesses that have larger service areas and lack of storefronts may find it difficult to get recognized. They have to optimize service-areas pages on their websites. Local businesses without a dedicated digital marketing team or proper agency might be in for a great deal of struggle in order to rank themselves on the first page of Google.
Having mentioned that, local businesses with physical locations will not have the same negative impact of this change, because Google will keep on improving connections of local businesses with mobile users.