Google Testing Local Results At Top Right Position, Above Ads

Jan 8, 2008 • 7:24 am | comments (1) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

A WebmasterWorld thread reports seeing Google Local results above the sponsored listings on the right hand side of the Google search results page.

Back in December, I reported at Search Engine Land that Google was testing vertical results in that top right position, such as video search results. You can see a picture of that in action at Google Blogoscoped.

The WebmasterWorld thread reports it to be very similar, but instead of the video vertical, it is the local results vertical coming up.

I am seeing a different layout in the Google SERP's since early last week, specifically the Local Business listings are showing up in the upper right hand corner.

I can only get this to work using Firefox--no IE or Opera much like some changes that were tested back in May 07. Is this a Firefox add-on I have installed or is G testing again?

Google is frequently testing layout changes to the search results page, so this is not uncommon to hear about. It is however, uncommon to see first hand.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: And more reports in this AdWords WebmasterWorld thread.

Update: There are now screen captures available at Flickr that show this in action.

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Sam Stevens

01/11/2008 12:20 am

Interesting! I haven't seen this on Google yet, though I was being "guinea pigged" over the holidays: Google SERPs had 20 results instead of 10 for a couple of days. I found this post by doing a search regarding Google Local results. I'm seeing these (with map, pointers and star ratings) positioned above the main organic search results. Unfortunately, I think this is cutting into my AdWords CTR. Visually, Local Results are demanding. Google would be better off putting them in the right column, like the video results. That way, users' eyes will be drawn to the right, and naturally they will look down from there to the sponsored listings. With the way it is now, I think that the sponsored links--specifically the ones in the main column--aren't getting enough eyeballs, and therefore clicks. After a user views Local Results, they look down to the natural results and never see the top 3 sponsored links. It's my working theory, anyway!

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