Google has added search results to the bottom of the local knowledge panel that appears when someone clicks on a result in the list of local listings in the regular search results. This change makes the local knowledge panel much longer but also puts greater emphasis on those search results, particularly for those businesses that do not have any reviews yet.
Here is how it looks in the local knowledge panel:
Search Results for Business
The search results are related to the specific business, they are not the search results that led you to the listings in the first place. Based on the usual Google bolding of the search queries in the results, the searches are all “<business name> <city, state/province/country>” format.
No Schema or Sitelinks
The search results do not seem to include any schema markup in them. They do not show the new breadcrumb style not do they including ratings information, stars or sitelinks. These are just the absolute barebones of search results.
Additional Review Sites
This change does mean that sites such as Yellow Pages and Yelp have the potential to see their own pages for the business rank and display on these local knowledge panels. This makes me wonder if it was done to give other review sites the possibility to see their reviews also featured on the knowledge panel.
Here is an example with both Yelp and Yellow Pages displayed.
Top 5 Search Results
These search results also bring up whatever the search results for that query are – including Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Yelp reviews and other search results. They only show a maximum of 5 search results. And if those search results happen to include a competitor, that competitor will be displayed too.
It also means that local businesses will want to ensure those top 5 results don’t contain anything negative.
It also tends to make the local knowledge panel look very, very cluttered, especially for those businesses that have no reviews or only 1-2.
Up to 3 (or More?) Search Results for Business’ Website
One interesting aspect of this is that Google will show up to 3 search results from the website of the business being displayed. This is also a change from the usual 2 that Google will display in their organic search results, so they also seem to be displaying these results without the filter that restricts it to only 2.
This could also mean that a business with a great well ranking website could potentially lock out all 5 positions with their own site if Google allows it, although I wasn’t able to find an example with more than 3, since Yelp and Facebook tend to rank very well.
Here is an example of one without any reviews.
But for a listing that has many reviews, you don’t even see the search results, although they still show at the bottom when you scroll down far enough.
When doing a brand search in Google, if the search triggers a local knowledge panel right in the search results, Google does not also include additional search results in that knowledge panel. So they are only appearing in the local flyout version only.
We are going to continue seeing Google test how they present their local results. After the huge 7-pack to 3-pack shakeup, this seems the latest attempt to change how Google displays local. And it also means it will be even more crucial for businesses to ensure those top 5 results are all positive about the business.
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