Google Maps: New Local OneBox 10 Pack now live?

Update 1/22/08 9:40 PM EST It is once again appearingThe newly formatted Local OneBox expansion (first spotted by Paul Jahn last week and seen again on Sunday) from 3 entries to 10 now appears to be live. It started showing up last night and local searches are still returning the new OneBox as of this morning. Is it appearing internationally? Does it appear on every server across the U.S?Here is a screen comparison between the “neo-classic” 3 pack and the new Local OneBox 10 pack:oneboxcompare500w.jpgTo view this comparison at full size click here.The points of interest to me are:

•The area of coverage provided by the map is greater. This implies to me that there will be greater (although not likely an exact) match between the OneBox and Maps results

•It appears to have decreased the frequency of the Authoritative OneBox (more testing required)

•It actually is only occupying 10% more vertical room than the previous Local OneBox by making the pins smaller and going to one line instead of the three lines in the “neo-classic” Onebox. Occasionaly if there are long names or domains in the listing the text will drop below the Map image and take up slightly more space.

•This is done by having less information and fewer links for each listing. Also the pin is smaller.

•The new result also adds 14 additional links into Maps. Thus it seems that more traffic will be driven to Maps proper.

•It is also of interest that the reviews are emphasized as opposed to directions in the current OneBox. If there are no reviews than the “more” link is present.

On some rural searches that I experimented with where the service provided is “weak” this causes a degradation of the quality of results as 5 of the 10 listings did not really provide the service requested. It is not clear how Google will resolve this issue going forward. In my opinion, on urban searches there will be increased user value in the results.authoritativeonebox.jpgOn many searches that previously returned the Authoritative OneBox, the results now list the new 10-pack. On the most infamous of Authoritative OneBox (Denver Flowers) it is still returning the Authoritative OneBox for Lehrer’s Flowers. However on the singular search phrase: Denver flower it is returning the new 10-Pack.denverflower.jpgThe new 10-pack seems to me a more equitable presentation of local data. It appears though that strongly optimized sites and local listings can still achieve authoritative status. It is not clear to me that the end user when searching on ‘Denver Flowers” really wants a single response and it seems to do a disservice to both the other businesses and the public.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Maps: New Local OneBox 10 Pack now live? by

24 thoughts on “Google Maps: New Local OneBox 10 Pack now live?”

  1. Just found your site. Looks great !!! subscribed and del. I have a question you may be able to answer. I am sure it is on your site somewhere but it’s 1 am gotta work tomorrow. :)

    What determines who shows up on the 1st spot on the list. A co-worker said age of the domain or maybe he meant age of the time the company confirmed their address to the map? Any ideas?

    BTW – Did not see the 10 last night or today at work but lo and behold tonight when I got home I am showing it. I am in San diego.

    Thanks. Look forward to coming back. I am doing some map work but also do seo for work and have some companies that need to use local more effectively.

  2. Hi Robin-

    All the dtails are not in on this update (?). Google has yet to confirm it publicly so it isn’t clear yet when it will be live, if it is live or if it is just a big test…my assumption is that they are roling it out but given its erratic appearances and disappearances I still am not 100% positive.

    The answer is that it depends…
    •Will the Authoritative OneBox still be used?
    •Will it be used less frequently?
    •Will it be used in all industries?
    •Is the ranking algo changing as well?
    •How will users respond? Will all businesses get equal click throughs or will the user click more on the first than the last? Or the first or the middle for that matter?
    •How will google deal with the quality issue in markets where there really are not 10 businesses serving the market?

    There are two big changes that I see as most important. Given that there is now 10 rather than just 3, it will make it easier for a business to show up reducing somewhat the need for “gaming” the system. the system will be more fair and there will be less complaints.

    The second is that the information provided by Google in the OneBox is now different.Given that there is less information given by Google with each business in the OneBox and even less rating info than before users may be forced into Maps more often to make a decision if they are looking for more than just phone number.

    What do you think?
    Mike

  3. I have not had a chance to dive deeper but your post gave me some great info. I will do some more research soon.

    But what I did notice is that I did the same search on IE and Firefox just now and showing the original 3 on IE and the 10 or so on Firefox.

    Here is a screenshot. box[dot]net/shared/ax7tltwg0o

  4. Hi Mark-

    Google has stated that they will show the authoritative onebox (1 listing), the 3 listins and the 10 when appropriate. I though what you are seeing is the change rippling through their system.

    Mike

  5. What I was seeing was the same exact search, on the same machine at the same excact time except it showed 3 in Internet Explorer and 10 in firefox.

    I was logged in at first. Then logged out and tried it again and same thing. I even cleared my cache. Just interesting.

    They both show 10 now. But yes there are some strange listings. Like 2 of the same exact place, address for top 2 only different phone numbers.

    I saw your new post. Great Thanks again.

  6. Hi Mark-

    Yes this whole role out has been very unpredictable and erratic. I would love a “fly on the all” view of the process to better understand what goes on….it might be like a view inside the brain of a teenager :)

    Mike

  7. It is true that they are going more regional, but this is great for SEO as well as just being able to find what you are looking for.. that is relevant and in your area. It will help with conversions and is a lot easier to optimize for that is for sure. Now if Google really wants to increase their revenue they would move the CPC listings from the right to the left but lets hope that never happens…

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