January 4th, 2011
It has been a few months now since Google has integrated Google Places data and “star reviews” to Google Page One organic search results. The impact of this change can best be seen for broad shopping phrases like “Bradenton Used Cars” or “Baltimore Honda Dealers”. Since this change occurred, I had never witnessed examples where the “block” of Google Places enhanced listings was interrupted by non Google Places listings.
To date, I had documented cases where you can have normal organic listings before the Google Places “block” or after the “block” but until now, the section of listings was unbroken with traditional organic listings not associated with Google Places. In the example below, the “red” block of Google Places listings are interrupted by the “green” block of non-Google Places listings.
Today I saw something new; Page One results were mixed with enhanced listings from Google Places and normal organic listings. The former “block” of Google Places listings was interrupted by normal organic listings. In this case, one of those results was an exact matching domain to the search phrase queried, shown in yellow.
The boxed area in RED are listing associated with domain names that are included in Google Places. The areas in GREEN are organic listings on domains not associated with Google Places. I am very glad to see this SERP because it reinforces my belief that microsites, non-primary dealer websites, will still be effective and visible is common automotive search phrases.
There was some fear that only domains listed in Google Places would dominate organic search results but this example shows that Google is tweaking their formula still.
In the example above, you can see how a business PRIMARY website that appears in Google Places can be enhanced with additional microsites and marketing websites, if they can be optimized for popular local search phrases. Creating a website on www.bradentonusedcars.org is a good application of a dealer microsite for a local city search phrase for used cars.
I’ll keep an eye out for the changes in organic search results but it looks like Google is still refining the SERP model. Third party advertising platforms, like www.usedcars.com which is shown above, should be happy with this update to the SERP display.