In my last post I stated that search was growing in the following directions: local, mobile, social and semantic.
Today, when checking the ranking of my friends at Après Restaurant, a French restaurant in Sydney for which I did some SEO, I noticed that Google had changed a few things around when displaying results for a commercially-related searches when the name of a place is part of the search term.
The map showing the results is now located on the right sidebar, above Adwords, and stays visible as you scroll down the page. Google is evidently trying to emphasise its Maps, of high relevance when the name of a place is part of the search term.
I also noted a revision of their algorithm. First, Google now displays links to customer reviews from more than its own Google Places. Second, preference is given to businesses that have registered their presence through Google Places and it seems that businesses that have pictures as part of their Google Places profile are also given a priority.
Finally, there are some major differences between Chrome and Safari. The former currently shows Adwords links and the latter doesn’t. There are also some differences in the SERPs when comparing both browsers. Overall it seems that Chrome showcases what to expect across all browsers when the whole process is deployed across the board.
A major improvement from Google that highlights the ever-increasing importance of local results.