By: Glenn Judah
Google’s slimmed down “Snack Pack” is real, and it’s changing how local search results are displayed to users. The Snack Pack was launched in August, reducing the local search pack from seven business listings to three business listings. Google also stripped complete street address, phone numbers and Google+ links from the redesign.
The removal of four businesses from the local pack is not the biggest change. According to research from seoClarity, a search engine optimization and data science company, the Snack Pack is landing in Google’s top search position 93 percent of the time. The original local pack, with seven businesses, only occupied the No. 1 position 25 percent of the time.
Why is this such a big deal?
If you were on the top of your SEO game and ranking in the top spot for local search results, you will now find your website knocked down to fourth place. This drop in rankings could affect overall traffic to your website and the number of customers coming through your doors.
How do you combat these changes and get your business listed in the Snack Pack?
You must regularly log in to your Google My Business Listing and make sure names, addresses, phone numbers, hours of operation and the website description are accurate. If any of this information changes on your website, you must make sure it is updated in your Google My Business dashboard.
You must also keep an eye on your online reputation. Google rewards websites with positive reviews. Responding to negative reviews and increasing positive reviews will give you an advantage to land inside the Snack Pack.
Google is constantly tweaking its search engine algorithm. Businesses that pay attention to these changes and create solid marketing plans will continue to out rank their competitors.