It looks like bing is making a much needed update to the display of local search results within their main search results.
Over the last 12 months Google has tested & released numerous changes to its Places’ results and their integration into ‘Everything’ search results.
It’s looks like bing is taking a leaf out of Google’s book and testing 2 new types of search result – see screen shots below.
For the BrightLocal team, keeping on top of these changes is essential to maintaining a relaible service and delivering accurate ranking results for our users. These changes don’t make life easy for us but do indicate that bing is investing in it’s local offering, which can only be a good thing for local SEOs and local businesses.
Lets hope these changes result in more traffic to local businesses. Come on bing!
1. Current/old integration
Simple box result at top of page with 3 or 5 results as standard.
Image: current/old integration
2. NEW – box results in middle of page
Not much change here but mixing the results with organic results. This actually lessens the prominence of local results on Bing so that surely means less clicks. No bing, don’t do it!
Image: box results inserted into middle of SERP
3. NEW – expanded results with interactive pins and scrolling right-hand map
This design & integration is right out of the Google Places playbook. It’s not blended results but it gives a lot more page real-estate to local and offers users more interaction. This should result in more clicks for local businesses.
Image: new expanded search results
Scrolling map – bing are showing the local map on the right hand column; the map scrolls with the user and obscures the PPC results.
Reviews & Ratings – bing is now displaying review count & star rating on these results which offers excellent prominence for businesses with positive reviews. bing aggregates it’s reviews from multiple local directories and vertical/niche directories, so those hard earned reviews can now benefit local businesses on bing as well as Google.
Website & meta description
If a local profile has a website registered to it then bing displays the meta description from the website and a direct link to the site. bing is giving a lot more space to website-linked listings so they standout more. A quick win for a local business – make sure your URL is included on your Bing local profile.
We’ll keep an eye out for any further changes and see how things settle down after this test.
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