Introducing The Google Local Stack - Bye Bye Google+ Local
by Jo Shaer, on August 9, 2015
At the end of last week, Mike Blumenthal introduced us all to Google's new Local Stack for local search terms, e.g., local seo in essex.
This is the latest visual incarnation of the ongoing saga from Google Places, Google+, Google+ Local, Google My Business - still not sure what it's officially being called at the moment!
Rolling out almost simultaneously across the globe, including the UK, the new Google Local Stack is a shadow of its former glory.
A mere 3-pack of local results giving easy access to the company website as well as directions - if the business is not a Service Area Business with a hidden address. Having said that, it does seem to be showing hidden addresses in some instances in the US and Canada so let me know if your British address is being revealed.
What is most noticeable is that these listings do not show a phone number, necessitating an additional click to get this crucial piece of information. Hopefully that will be resolved sooner rather than later.
The End of Google+ Local?
Mike's suggestion is that it could have been done this way to finally put an end to Google+ Local. Google has already announced that it is splitting the current Google+ into Photos and Streams.
If you log into Google+, you can still access your business page and see the Google My Business option that allows you to edit your map listing. You can also still leave reviews for other businesses and reply to any that have been left for your business.
If you click on the actual number of reviews for your Local Stack listing, you go through to the review list where you can read them all or add one of your own. If you hover over those who have actually left a review, you can see the old G+ pages and click through. But that is now the only way that you can reach a Google+ page from this Local Stack.
Where has the knowledge graph gone?
If you click on the name of the business, you go through to a more complete list of the local listings for that search and a knowledge graph that shows the split of your reviews beteen 1-5 stars.
If you Google the name of your business, the knowledge graph still appears as before to the right of your organic listing.
Home Service Ads?
I am not yet seeing the new Home Services ads for plumbers, etc., that have been talked about by my colleagues across the Atlantic.
I suspect this post will be updated over the next few weeks.