Google Nukes the Local Pin for One Boxes?

Today, Google is not showing the local pin next to the web result for searches that return One Boxes. whether brand or key word based. The Knowledge Panel is still returned for the search.

The pins were visible yesterday in the main search results but gone today and apparently not visible across the US. I am not sure about Europe but they are apparently gone in Canada. Thus it is likely a world wide roll out.


Here is the same search from a few days ago:


The Pin has been removed from keyword search results as well:

Screenshot 2015-12-03 15.41.06

@djpaisley speculates that the reason is that this change makes Adwords ad both more visible and more likely to convert. It is certainly consistent with Google’s many recent changes to remove distractions from the search results like the removal of author photos, carousel results and the 7-pack.

This is one of those moments when I am glad that I don’t run a search ranking tool as this is likely to totally screw up the results.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Nukes the Local Pin for One Boxes? by

25 thoughts on “Google Nukes the Local Pin for One Boxes?”

  1. @Darren
    No, I don’t. I think this is part of their two part push to clean up the search results AND make ads more visible.

    I think they pretty much got most of those spammy one boxes under control over the past 6 months.

    What is odd about this layout though is that there is no visual tie between the Knowledge Panel and the search result. Maybe they just don’t want users clicking on the search result?

  2. I checked it for several results in Germany (using & and they are gone here also

  3. Ah – hah! And I thought this was just something weird I was seeing all morning. So, there you have it … more fun from Google. Thank you for reporting this, Mike.

  4. They also automated reviews of Google My Business for accuracy on Hours. One of my clients had their hours arbitrarily changed due to the website listing two set of hours. The location said closed but luckily I caught it. Pretty wack consider the listing is verified. Crazy is the new normal….

  5. Geez. Not real sentimental, are we, Google?

    That map pin had been near-useless ornamentation for a while, so I don’t think this is the worst change Google has made. But they sure are pushing users toward the knowledge graph. No doubt that’s where we’ll see more AdWords action.

    Of course, now would be a good time for business owners to add their phone numbers to their title or description tags (before Google experiments with removing those from the SERPs, too.)

  6. Also occurred to me that this is a bit of a bait-n’-switch.

    Google had the map pin, address, phone number, and review stars showing in the onebox for years. We grew accustomed to it and liked it. Then AdWords Express came along – a crappy product, except for that your review stars would show up more visibly than if you were using grown-up AdWords. (Clearly that feature was/is a draw, or else Google might have killed off Express a long time ago.) Then Google started showing G+ review stars in location extensions in regular AdWords earlier this year.

    Clearly this town ain’t big enough for two sets of map pins and review stars

  7. Mike Blumenthal and Phil Rozek on the same page. That’s a hot combo. Bring in Linda B. and Joy H. and we’ll have a swingin’ time. I’m throwing all current and future local m clients your way. Google shennanigans have finally made me a blabbering idiot.

  8. @Phil: We’ve been running adwords for years and have had the review stars showing just about after it was announced.

    We really haven’t had a “big change” in ctr. I think the major reason is that most searches are “discovery” and “not recovery”…at least in our cases. I wonder what others experiences are? ….and frankly we aren’t seeing a lot of competitive ads on name type searches (fingers crossed)

    But I like your words, Phil, you are very diplomatic.

  9. Yup, fairly new to local search compared to most on here. Another one of Google’s monetization efforts. I’m sure there will be more lovely surprises. I’ll keep my guard up Mike.

  10. The funny thing about this search is that Williamsville has a lot of jewelers relative to its size. I suspect that this is common in a lot of scenarios in cities like Buffalo where the downtown isn’t a retail powerhouse anymore.

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