Google recently made a change to their search results where the local 3-pack results were now showing above all organic results, rather than showing the first organic result above the local pack like it did previously. But Google seems to have returned the organic result above the pack for some queries.
Here is an example for “divorce lawyer”:
Could this be a slow roll out of organic showing above the 3-pack? It is hard to know, but it is only showing on a small percentage of local results, but that number may be increasing – I was hard pressed to find additional examples yesterday but this morning I am noticing many more. But it could have been merely luck based on the local searches I did today.
AdWords doesn’t seem to be a trigger, as there are examples that have ads and those that don’t.
Current position in the 3-pack of the top organic result doesn’t seem to make a difference, as we have seen examples where the organic is in the 3-pack and where it isn’t.
It is showing in multiple countries, so it doesn’t seem to be one of their limited tests for a specific country.
If Google is restoring an organic listing above the 3-pack, this is good news for those sites that have strong organic ranks but might not show as well in the local 3-pack. However it also means businesses will need to try and optimize for both organic search and local search. But working on positioning within the local pack seems less riskier, as the pack is still showing above all organic in most cases still.
H/T to Andrew Åkesson for spotting the initial result with an organic on top.
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