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New ‘Nearby Events and Deals’ Feature Seen on Google

New ‘Nearby Events and Deals’ Feature Seen on Google

Google is showing a new feature in its SERPs, showcasing ‘Nearby events and deals’. 

Spotted first by Saad Alikhan and then Khushal Bherwani on Twitter, the feature presents ‘offers’ and ‘events’ Google Business Profile (GBP) Posts sourced from four local businesses. This feature is only visible for local searches on mobile devices. It has not yet been spotted on Google Maps. 

What does ‘Nearby events and deals’ look like? 

Clicking on one of the tiles directs you to a full-screen view of the GBP offer post, alongside a tile for the business’s GBP, which, when clicked, takes you to the business’s GBP. The four-pack does not seem to have a ‘show more’ option. 

Google's 'Nearby events and deals'

This result tends to show up further down the SERP, below the local pack, organic results, ‘People also ask’, and ‘People also search for’. However, its location isn’t always consistent from SERP to SERP.

Each of the four tiles shows the Google Posts’ original image and title alongside the business’s name and Google review score.

How does ‘Nearby events and deals’ work?

To test what does and doesn’t show with this feature, our team took to Google to discover what appeared when searching for local businesses across a variety of both large and small cities. We also wanted to test which industries were likely to show this, and what this could mean for local businesses. 

We only managed to trigger this new feature when searching for businesses in the food and restaurant vertical. All of our results were based around North American (US and Canada) cities; UK cities did not trigger this feature.

Queries in larger cities such as Chicago and New York City were far more likely to return this feature, as was the Canadian province of Ontario. In smaller cities, such as Durham, NC (population 332,680) and Pomona, CA (population 146,017), the presence of the feature varied, indicating that business volume may have an impact on Google’s decision to show this panel. Only one search conducted for Pomona returned the panel. 

This is further supported by the fact that the feature consistently shows in a pack of four, indicating that a greater volume of businesses with active Posts is needed. 

That being said, multiple searches returned Posts of seemingly unrelated businesses. For instance, a search for ‘boba ontario’ returned a ‘nearby events and deals’ section fully populated by two coffee shops, a chain bakery, and a brewery.

Boba Ontario Nearby Events and Deals

This seems to be more common with some searches, with ‘boba new york city’ also returning a group of seemingly unrelated results.

There were also many repeats across SERPS, such as two of the four results being the same for both the queries ‘bottomless brunch new york city’ and ‘buffet new york city’.

Bottomless Brunch New York City Events and Deals
Search for ‘bottomless brunch new york city’.
Buffet New York City Events and Deals
Search for ‘buffet new york city’.

It’s worth noting that non-food and restaurant queries conducted across a variety of verticals yielded no results of this type at all. The non-food and restaurant queries we tried were the following: ‘nail salon’, ‘divorce lawyer’, ‘gyms’ ‘yoga’, ‘bouldering’, ‘bike shop’ ‘dentures’ ‘toy shop’, ‘fish market’, ‘bachelorette parties’, ‘bed and breakfast’, ‘jewelry store’, ‘bridal gowns’, ‘healthcare’, and ‘organic market’, all tested using both Durham, NC and Chicago, IL.

Let’s look at the queries that did yield this type of result:

What Business Related Queries Are Generating ‘nearby Events And Deals’ In Google

Why should I care?

For anyone managing business profiles for food businesses and restaurants, you’ll already know the importance of using Google Business Profile Posts to boost conversion. Now, it would also seem that to get the chance to be displayed in the new SERPs feature, you need to be actively posting and optimizing your GBP Posts. 

The images used on Posts are important to get right, especially as they’re now more visible with this new feature. Make sure your images are high quality, eye-catching, and with text that is easy to read. The ‘Nearby events and deals’ feature crops images into a square, so keep the text within a safe space in the center of your image so important information won’t be cut off in the margins. 

What does this mean going forward?

It’s possible that this selection could grow more and more accurate as the feature ages—especially if businesses take this opportunity to dive into the world of Google Posts. With this knowledge, this is a good time to make the most out of your GBP Posts—especially ‘events’ and ‘deals’ posts—to ensure that you’re maximizing the possibility of eyes on your profile. 

Abigail Leow
About the contributors
Abigail is a Content & Marketing Executive at BrightLocal, responsible for supporting the team in their mission to produce high-quality marketing materials across all channels.
Jenny Bernarde
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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