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Google is now showing local search results mixed in (or blended in as they prefer to call it) with non-local queries.
The first results page listings include a city map, telephone number, website URL, and a link to the review page. If you click the company name, it takes you to their website, but when you click the reviews link, it takes you to a details page that includes company name, address, telephone number, a map to the location, and of course, the first batch of reviews.
I have to admit that even though I saw this coming months ago, I certainly didn’t see it coming so far or so fast.
In the pizza serps, for example, the big three national chains, Dominos, Pappa Johns and Pizza Hut come up one through three in that order and include regular, (or should I call them old style) descriptions.
Google obviously knows what city you are searching from so it lists ten more local (Houston in my case) pizzarias directly under the big three. The order of the local pizza joints, for the most part, is determined by the number of reviews, and it doesn’t seem to matter whether they are good or bad. I say for the most part because when you search pizza and you are located in Houston, the 5th and 6th results that come up are in reverse order by number of reviews. Number 5, California Pizza Kitchen has 13 reviews and number 6, Antonio’s Flying Pizza, which by the way I think is one of the best, has 41. Go figure! The rest, other than those two, are listed from the highest number of reviews to the lowest. Go figure.
Last but not least, special thanks to Tony Nguyen, Directory One’s pay per click manager, who brought this to my attention and sent me a link to Matt McGee’s post, “Google Showing Local Results In Non-Local Queries” on Search Engine Land.