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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Best Searches Now Default to +4 Star Listings in the Local Pack & Increased Granularity

Two interesting developments in the Local Pack today. Joy Hawkins,  (via Dave DiGregorio) pointed out that “Best Keyword + City” searches now return 3-pack results with average ratings of 4+.

Sergey Alakov pointed out on Twitter that the rating drop down now display increased granularity with 1/2 point differences now selectable.

Why is this important? Google is highlighting businesses with better reviews more in the search results. This increases the ever growing financial incentive to cheat on reviews. In any rational world this would increase Google’s responsibility to remove fake reviews in a more rigorous and through way.