This might come as a shock to you, but we are 41 days into 2017. That means that 11% of the year is over. It goes by so fast, and if you blinked during that time, you might have missed the following stories that emerged from the realm of Local Search and Local SEO:
- Google released an API update to GMB
What you need to know: Officially, this is v3.2 of the Google My Business API. The best part of this update is that we now have a deeper historical view into Google My Business Insights. How far back can we go? We now have 18 months of historical data, which is making things a lot better when it comes to year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter comparisons. For more on this local search update in the Google My Business API, go here.
- Google is dropping one organic listing in Local 3-Pack for a paid Local Ad
What you need to know: Here is a screenshot of Google adding a Local Ad to the Google 3-Pack:
Google has been running with that for a while now. However, now we see Google completely drop one of the three organic results for a paid Local Ad. Here is one that was first seen by TheSEMPost:
Google is beginning their push to monetize all Local search fully. We are anticipating a day when all three listings in the Local 3-Pack are paid Local Ads. Adjust your budgets and plan accordingly. And btw – be sure to take some tissues to your SEO team. They are probably crying about this. And that is entirely understandable.
- Google is testing some new Local Inventory Ads in the place of the traditional Local Pack
What you need to know: Google is going loco. And also Local. If Google is looking to keep their shareholders happy and find new ways to make revenue (which they always are), squeezing additional dollars out of the fastest growing search vertical (local search on mobile devices) is probably at the top of their game plan for 2017 and beyond. In this SearchEngineLand article, Mike Blumenthal noticed a new LIA design, which appears below the map – an area typically reserved for the Local Pack listings:
As with #2 above, our advice on this LIA test is: plan ahead and adjust (read: increase) your budgets accordingly.
If Google has done this much in the last 41 days, just imagine what they have in store for the next 324 days of 2017. This year is going to be interesting, indeed. Good luck out there!