Google is always tweaking how the search results appear and where sites rank, but Google has taken another step forward in how it showcases local SEO results including directories.
These changes seem to be live across Europe – noted in the UK, Belgium, France, Greece and Spain.
What has changed for local SEO?
Google is now showing a prominent directory box which displays the relevant directories for any specific search.
This includes suggestions, links to directories, forums, articles, and more.
Below you can see the difference in the local results for just “locksmith” and a local-inspired search, including “Ely UK” in the search. This is linking through to Yell and Yelp for Locksmiths in and around Ely.
The same goes for the below pubs and restaurants in Cambridge. Google is giving suggestions to articles or websites with recommendations for the best pubs or restaurants in the local area.
This is very helpful for people searching these terms, and takes you directly to the relevant page which lists all the best options available to you.
Why has Google made these changes? This is likely down to the fact that Google has been in hot water over antitrust fines due to the fact it favours its own content within its own search results. This is at least a step to ensure it is showing results from what is essentially, competition to Google itself. People could be starting their search on Yell, Yelp or Tripadvisor rather than Google itself.
To be clear, these aren’t ads. These are pages chosen by Google’s algorithm which deliver the best experience to the person searching these terms. Google itself is choosing the right directories to display.