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Here at Opace, we make it our mission to keep you up to date with the latest Google changes. Over the last month or so the search engine has been very busy making alterations to local search and AdWords, in addition to rolling out various algorithm updates. See below for a rundown of the changes and how they could potentially affect your business.

Google has been busy making changes to local search and adwords.

Google has been busy making changes to local search and AdWords.

Google showing fewer local search results

At the beginning of this month, Google made significant changes to how it displays local search results on SERPs. Instead of showing seven local search results, it now only shows three, so what has been sometimes called the ‘Google 7 Pack’ is now the ‘Google 3 Pack.’

Introducing the new google 3 pack for local search results.

Introducing the new Google 3 Pack for local search results.

So what does this mean for local businesses?

Obviously, if your local business is ranking in the top three on SERPs then this is fantastic news for you. Fewer results appearing on the page, means increased exposure for your business, which is likely to generate a higher volume of calls and sales.

However, fewer local search results also mean less chance of visibility for your business if it is showing up in position 4 or below. If you were ranking as one of the original Seven Pack, then you’re probably not best pleased with these changes at all; which Google has said are a way of providing people with more relevant information including photos, reviews and prices for searches that have multiple results for a given location.

Our suggestion is to work on your SEO strategy and PPC management, to achieve higher organic and paid visibility. Invest effort into developing your Google+ page, make sure your address ioptimise your descriptions and encourage customer reviews as this will give you the edge you need to get into the newly named Google 3 Pack. It’ll take a bit of work to shift things around but if you have a good strategy in place, it is possible to make a difference.

Changes to Google AdWords

Local search isn’t the only thing Google has been playing around with. It’s also made a number of changes to AdWords, including a new suite of automated bidding solutions for Google Shopping, updates to the AdWords app and changes to Display campaigns. Below we’ve shared some of the other key changes in greater detail:

New Report Editor

Over the next few months, Google is rolling out a new Report Editor, a powerful tool that is designed to help you explore your account data in brand new ways from your browser. It comes with an easy to use interface that will enable you to build custom tables and charts that can be segmented, sorted and filtered to showcase the insights that matter most to your business.

With Report Editor, you’ll be able to explore your data using simple drag and drop actions, sort and filter your data to focus on the most relevant information, visualise your data using different chart types and apply multiple segmentations to analyse your data in detail.

To go alongside the new feature, Google has created a brand new guide, providing advice on how to access the right insights from your AdWords account and turn them into action.

360 degree video ads

Google is launching new 360 degree ads on YouTube as a way of helping advertisers deliver richer experiences to their customers. Already Coca-Cola’s 360 degree video ad has outperformed their standard video ads by 36%. Users can explore the new ad types through Chrome or by using the YouTube app on Android or iOS.

Powerful dynamic search ads

Google has enhanced and retooled its dynamic search ads, making them available to all advertisers globally. If you’re unfamiliar with dynamic search ads, it’s basically a great way to reach your customers with relevant information whilst they’re searching, without the need to manage keywords. The new DSA will not only crawl and index your website but also organise your content into recommended categories for creating targeted ads. The recommended categories will be customised to the products and services you offer and only trigger ads for search queries that you have a relevant landing page for.

Google has also added new tools to make it easier for you to preview your ads, along with recommended bid calculations for each category.

Google’s Mobile algorithm continues to roll out

Back in April, Google launched its Mobile-Friendly algorithm, intended to elevate the rankings of mobile-friendly and responsive websites in mobile searches. A few months on and the update it still being rolled out, so if your site hasn’t been affected yet (either positively or negatively) there’s still time.

Responsive web designs will help elevate your mobile search results

Responsive web designs will help elevate your mobile search results

A company called Moovweb has been tracking 1,000 eCommerce keywords across a range of industries to see whether the algorithm has affected them. So far they have found that 83% of the time, the top results on mobile searches are mobile-friendly and 81% of the time, the top three results were. Whilst Google hasn’t set out to penalise non mobile-friendly websites, it’s inevitable that they will be negatively impacted, so if you haven’t already, now’s the time to invest in a responsive web design.

Google Panda 4.2 news

After waiting almost 10 months since the last update, Google Panda 4.2 is slowly rolling out. Apparently, it’s much slower than usual due to internal technical issues and hasn’t been done so to confuse users. With this in mind, you may find that although the algorithm is site-wide, some of your web pages may not be affected immediately. If you were negatively affected by the last Panda update and have since made changes, there’s a great chance that the new update will have a positive impact on your search rankings, it may just take a few months for you to notice a difference.

So there we have the latest Google changes and updates! If you need any help with your SEO or PPC, you know where and how to find us, as always we are looking to help you understand all the latest updates here at Opace.


Image Credit: Joe The Goat Farmer


  1. Geeti

    This is very informative, thanks.

    However I am curious about the fact that Panda is effecting sites on a page by page basis. Google has always said that Panda was sitewide. My understanding is that if the content on your site was deemed low quality by Panda, then the entire site would be affected. What are your thoughts.

    • opace

      We can only talk from experience but we’ve seen Panda updates affect specific pages and the site/domain as a whole, especially where duplicate content has been found. You can see this where many eCommerce sites are concerned, e.g. thousands of product pages will have thin or duplicate content and don’t rank very well (if at all). However other well-written pages on the site (including the homepage) continue to rank well and remain penalty free.


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