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Local Search Roundup – December 2022

Local Search Roundup – December 2022

Welcome to the Local Search Roundup! This is our space to bring you a summary of all that matters in local search. Whether it’s important Google Business Profile updates, recent industry findings, or developments in marketing technology, every month you’ll find the latest in local marketing and how it affects your business as a whole. 

What’s new in Google Business Profile?

The in-SERP edit experience fully rolls out

Google has rolled out its new editing experience within the search engine results pages (SERPs) for anyone managing Business Profiles. Users are no longer given the option to continue editing their profiles within the traditional dashboard.

Photo insights are not being transferred to the NMX

The new editing and insights experience for Google Business Profile will not include photo insights. Many local SEOs are frustrated with this change, but Google has stated: “While we are moving away from providing Photo Insights, Business Profile users will continue to have access to a number of profile insights like profile views, number of calls, messages, bookings, and others.”

Photo cropping added to the NMX

The new in-SERP editor now has an easy-to-use photo cropping tool to Google Posts and Updates. This means it’s easier to create images cropped to your preference when uploading. 

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Source: Claire Carlile

Videos in GBPs are automatically playing in the Google Maps app

Videos uploaded to business profiles are now auto-playing and seem to appear in second place within the carousel of images. This may prompt more video views, encouraging business profile users to upload videos alongside photos. 

Hospitality businesses can select preferred menus for business profiles

Business profiles offer a ‘Manage your menu’ option, where restaurant and hospitality businesses can select their chosen menu from the ones automatically sourced by Google.


Google Business Profiles now include a ‘Showing the World Cup’ attribute

You can now let customers know if your establishment is showing World Cup matches by adding a new attribute to your business profile. Users will also be able to search for “Where to watch the world cup near me” to find a nearby venue of their choice.

GBP World Cup Attribute

Source: Google

Google Map’s Augmented Reality Live view is now rolling out

Announced earlier this year, you can now view Google Maps in AR. You’ll find ATMs, coffee shops, and more on the map. These are just some of the updates Google has made to make Maps more interactive for users. 

You can now search restaurants by dish

Also announced earlier this year, and now rolling out, is the functionality to search for a specific dish near you. Results will show restaurants with the dish on their menu.

A new layout test has been spotted, with larger photos and street view formats

A number of local search experts have spotted a full-screen experience for business profile photos and street views. These images appear when clicking through from the knowledge map. 

Google New Local Knowledge Panel Photo Street View Layout 1668601189

Source: Search Engine Roundtable 

Google is testing a new placement for local businesses in SERPs

A test has been spotted where business maps are placed underneath their respective snippets. There’s also a slightly updated design for the local panel which appears on the side of the results.

T Google Map Box In Search Results Snippet 1669724924

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Google is suggesting service areas to add to your Google Business Profile

For service-area businesses, Google is prompting ‘Suggested service areas’ to include on your business profile. Remember, just because they’re ‘suggested’ doesn’t mean you should include them, as you should only include the areas you actually serve. 

A spike in scam ownership requests from Google Business Profiles

There’s been an increase in fake ownership requests over the last few weeks. Please be on the lookout for these requests as they may look official. 

Some business profiles are displaying a label for edit review times

A new label estimating how long your requested edits may take to be reviewed has been spotted. Most local search experts have said these edits have taken around ten minutes to be reviewed as stated. 

T Google Business Profiles Edit Review Time 1669648923

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Google is now identifying previous business locations

A pin on maps has been spotted which shows a business’s ‘previous’ location. According to Mike Blumenthal, these pins will only be visible for verified businesses and for people viewing the suggested edits via the NMX.

Local pack headers are now generic headers

In a report earlier this year, Miriam Ellis and Dr Pete J Meyers reported on the diversity of local pack headers. It’s since been spotted that local pack headers are now made up of generic terms

What’s new in Reviews?

Google reviews are displaying the number of reviews left in that city 

Google reviews are now showing the number of reviews left by a user in that particular city. This is another step towards helping users assess the legitimacy and trustworthiness of reviews.

Google Local Reviews Count City 1667742240

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Google reviews are displaying the number of reviews left in that category

Similarly, Google reviews are also showing the number of reviews left by a user within that particular business category. A user can see reviews grouped by locations and business category when viewing their own profile. 

Source: Damian Rollison 

Google reviews are now showing a positive vs unfavorable percentage bar 

A new rating bar has been added to some business types, to demonstrate positive vs unfavorable reviews. This bar appears when clicking into one of the ‘People often mention’ categories when viewing a business’s reviews. 

T Google Local Reviews Bar Slide 1668949882

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Does the length of a Google review matter?

A new case study has revealed that reviews that are longer in length, stay at the top of Google local listings for a longer period of time.

What’s new in Local Services Ads?

New headers have been spotted in Local Services Ads results

Some minor variations in headings have been seen on Google Guaranteed & Google Screened results. Some of the headers also include an ‘Ads’ label. 

Google Local Service Ad Headings 1669641763

Source: Search Engine Roundtable 

What’s new in Marketing?

Are ad agencies advising their clients to quit Twitter?

With the uproar of new ownership, many businesses are taking a step back from using the social media platform. But are agency experts advising their clients do the same?

Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled on our Twitter account for the very latest in local search, Google Business Profile, and more as it happens!

Jenny Bernarde
About the author
Jenny looks after the BrightLocal community, through managing our social media channels, connecting with our community, and producing our online webinars.

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