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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Google Places Testing New Layout

Update: This appears to be a rollout not a test.

With all of the system wide quirks of late in Google Places, there has been speculation that the under the hood snafus were a reflection of bigger and more visible changes to come. This screen shot could be one of those changes. Sent to me by Nora and Yam Regev of, it shows some striking differences with the current Places Page.

It is too early to know if this is what the final product will look like or if it is just a test. It is missing owner description (an oft noted complaint recently in the forums), 3rd party review sentiment snippets (also recently removed from many search results), and even the highlighted 3rd party review that was associated with each review site. The links to 3rd party reviews have move down the page while the call to action in writing reviews and signing in are dramatically more obvious.  The lack of 3rd party summary reviews on the Place page display could explain the recent change of not showing the 3rd party review counts in the main search results.

As Linda noted below, the business description is appearing in most examples and is probably missing due to the recent bug. The big change, as noted in the comments, is the missing citations.