7 pack and Google Local Listings Ads

Local Search well and truly arrived with the introduction of the ’10 pack’ listing. At Search Engine Strategies at the start of this year (2009) it was the anniversary of the rollout of this feature in the UK.

The recent addition of a dashboard highlighted Google’s commitment to local search and it’s ever increasing importance.

The screenshot below is from a short article I wrote on the adding your business to Local Business center.

10 pack listing on Google Local

It shows a search for the term ‘wedding photographer in Belfast’, with the 10 pack, 10 listings labeled A – J next to a map. Google has decided in their wisdom to cull this down to a 7 pack. The second screenshot below now shows a search for the same term with a 7 pack, 7 listings.

10 pack listing on Google Local

So what difference does this make?

  • It’s less cluttered looking
  • Getting listed in the 7 pack obviously becomes more competitive

If you had a listing that appeared at number 8 – 10, your listing will now have disappeared and banished from a potentially very profitable position on the front page of Google.

So why has Google made this change?

Unfortunately for organic SEO’s I doubt that Google has decided to reassert the priority of the free, organic and traditional search results that is was built on. Arguably, the reason is that Google is set to introduce Google Local Listings Ads that will offer local pay per placement ads targetted at local business. A less cluttered 7 pack certainly frees up space for these locally targeted ads and at the same time will generate additional revenue for the money making juggernaut that Google is.

Local Listings Ad Video Promotion

So what are Local Listings Ads and how do they work:

  • Targetted ads that display when users search for businesses like yours in your area.
  • Add your business to Google’s Local Business Center
  • Pay a flat fee based on your location and business category
  • Receive a full report on the no of clicks and more
  • Appear at the top of Google search results and Google Maps
  • Free call tracking to include the message ‘This caller brought to you by Google’
  • First 30 days free

Local Listing Ads look like a dumbed down version of Pay Per Click, no campaign set up and management, just a fairly straightforward process that most businesses should understand. The simple pay per placement model should also help Google target online competitors such as Yell. A free 1 month trial won’t do the uptake figures any harm either.

For an SEO, a one strand organic listings campaign for a local business just doesn’t and won’t cut the mustard any more. Businesses can’t ignore Pay Per Click and Local Search. Add Local Listing Ads to the mix when it is eventually rolled out here.

3 Responses to “7 pack and Google Local Listings Ads”

  1. Google Sneaks Enhanced Listings Into the Local SERPs | Internet Marketing Belfast - Michael Wall Says:

    […] think about. First of all, this yellow flag will be essentially useless if the business isn’t included in the seven pack, but it’s easy to see a number of businesses will eagerly hand over the cash without […]

  2. KevinNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Michael, great post. I see that the 7 pack listing is huge for competition and people seem hell bent on getting into it. What I’ve foudn though is that 2 box listings (not very commonplace) can be turned into a 3 box listing in a couple of weeks. There’s less competition and the search volume can be as high as the 7 box listings. There’s a video of this process http://bit.ly/2boxinto3box

    Subscribing to your blog 🙂

  3. Google Places and Google Organic Listings Merge | Internet Marketing Belfast - Michael Wall Says:

    […] I’ve done. First Google did away with the 10 box listing, then they culled it down to the 7 box. Now in certain searches that 7 box listing have been removed, moving up the organic results to the […]

Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced SEO based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own SEO Agency.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 923383 or use the contact form.

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