A Guide to Google Mobile Local Pack Results
Mike Blumenthal

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Last week, Google pushed its new, blue mobile local pack (previously seen on Android and Google Now) to the iPhone. As the world and Google goes mobile (and local), it makes sense to detail and name the various local pack results that we are now seeing in the mobile environment. For the most part, there are direct desktop equivalents but there are some differences, as well. This post was inspired by some research that Dr. Pete Meyers is doing for Moz.

1.) The Standard 3-Pack

On the desktop it might show as a 7-pack (or 6, 5, 4, 3 or 2 pack), but in mobile it seems to almost always be just three. The mobile 3-pack is generated by a keyword search and is distinguished by only allowing click to call from the main screen. The descriptor “website” is indicative that the business has one, but it is not actively linked to the business website. Directions, reviews and the web URL can only be accessed by drilling into the listing. Ah, Google we got to love you. At least we can still call.

The standard 3 Pack.

The standard 3-pack.

2.) The Classic Local Pack

You don’t see many of these any more on keyword searches. Usually they present like above. This particular search is also in the food industry which normally presents the Local Stack. Hmm … it’s also a 4-pack, which is unusual, and offers ready access to click to call, directions and the website. Prior to last week, this style was the most common on the iPhone. This particular result may just be an anomaly. I am checking with the good Dr. Pete to see if he is seeing them with any frequency. I presume that it will disappear over time. Regardless, keyword searches used to look like this and, for the most part, they no longer do.

3-pack-old

3.) The Branded 3-Pack (variation 1)

This is the direct equivalent of the Branded 3-pack on the desktop. It is returned for brand searches when there are multiple locations in the market. There are direct options for driving directions and click to call, but a click on the company name takes you to the Google Maps view, not the web site.

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4.) The Branded 3-Pack (variation 2)

This was spotted by Dr. Pete of Moz and, according to him, occurs on about 2% of mobile local pack results. I had never seen it before. It is characterized by a missing trade name and the address being linked to Maps. Otherwise, it is the same as the previous display.

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5.) The Local Stack (or Snack Pack)

This is the direct equivalent of the Local Stack (carousel replacement) on the desktop. It typically shows on entertainment, recreation, travel and food categories. And like the desktop, it offers the user NO significant information. To see hours, web URL, click to call or reviews it is necessary to click through to the Google page for the full mobile listing. If you are curious about the terms that trigger this display you can learn more here and here.

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6.) The Local One Box

This is usually seen for brand match searches, but can occasionally be seen for keyword searches. It offers direct access to the business phone, directions and website but — unlike the desktop — it is necessary to click through to see reviews.

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I find that it is useful to catalog these displays so that, when the all-too-frequent changes occur, we have a solid baseline for comparison. With the ever-growing importance of mobile, these observations will help us better understand Google’s arc on phone browsers. As a note, it seems that Google Now on the iPhone and the regular display on Android precede the changes that take place on Chrome and Safari on the iPhone.

If you see other display types, either currently or in the future, please let me know.

(Compass image by Walt Stoneburner via Creative Commons.)

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