After many months of testing, Google has confirmed it is moving the local pack results to the top and the map on the right of those local results on desktop search. Google said the search company “expects this to be broadly available over the coming weeks.”
Over the past few days, a ton of people have been asking me if this is new and the answer is no, Google has been testing it for a while. But I also saw it myself, as I posted on Twitter so I asked Google if it is rolling out now and Google confirmed it is.
Google said “we’re constantly exploring ways to connect people with the helpful information that they’re seeking. We’re currently rolling out an update to the Search interface on desktop so when people search for places or businesses nearby, like ‘parks near me’ or ‘restaurants near me,’ they’ll easily see local results on the left and a map on the right. We expect this to be broadly available over the coming weeks.”
Here is the new layout (click to enlarge):
Here is the old layout (click to enlarge):
I do wonder if this new design has anything to do with local SEOs seeing more or less traffic via local search?
Forum discussion at Twitter.