Before I dive too deep into the update, I want to make sure that you understand the term "local pack." Also referred to as "10-Pack," "7-Pack," or "3-Pack," this is the box of business listings that appears when you do a search for a business on Google. Here is an example:
These results stand out from the others, practically demanding to be clicked, and unfortunately for local businesses, the big change seems to be occurring only within the local pack.
How Google's Newest Algorithm Change Affects the Local Pack
Here is an image of a graph created by the brilliant folks over at Moz, based on a large and varied sample:
It's clear that the local pack has been hit hard—many early observations indicating that the 7-Pack has often been dropped down to a 3-Pack—which is a big deal for anyone attempting to compete in their local market. If your name drops out of the pack, you could see an appreciable difference in the amount of traffic coming to your site or in your door. Not a good thing!
For now, all we can do is watch and wait. We don't know if the local pack will go back to normal, if there will be a drop in the other types of specialized search results, or if this local pack will take a serious and long-lasting hit. When things change—and they always do with Google—we will be sure to let you know.
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