Google Testing Ads in Local Results and 4 packs in 2017

I have heard rumors that people have seen ads in Google Local / 3 packs in January 2017. As first mentioned here on Nov 10, 2016, this is likely on the way.

I did take some more screenshots I noticed affecting attorneys and law firms late on November 22, 2016. I have been hoarding the screenshots here, sorry. They are below.

Oh, as you can see by the screenshots below, the ads don’t seem to be working correctly.

Google had them up for a half hour or so before they yanked them.

Google Local 4 packs:

Ad in 3 pack, now a 4 pack

And here is a “broken” one:

A “broken” Google Local 4 pack (3 organic plus 1 ad)

I am guessing that sometime in 2017 we may begin seeing what I call a “4 pack”, consisting of 3 organic listings plus 1 paid listing. But, who knows. The test was done during off hours, so maybe they were just testing for giggles. Your guess is as good as mine. As seen above, the phone didn’t appear on the second test for DUI lawyers in NYC. (That is kind of important for mobile results…)

Len

President at Telapost
I create content and do SEO for law firms, small businesses and companies worldwide. I have been generating traffic online since 1992. I have owned multiple successful companies. I'm an organic eater, nature lover and German Shepherd owner. Feel free to contact me here.
2 Comments
  1. Thanks Len about the the update. So, the 4-packs had replaced all the 3-packs. Last year, i read a article about how to optimize local business website for 3-packs (http://bit.ly/2keEzcV). are those methods still applicable for 4-packs?

    • I think we could see 4 packs this year. The screenshots above show them being tested. We still have 3 packs at the moment.

      As for optimizing, Google+ is no longer relevant. In a nutshell, good organic rankings are still the most important factor for getting into the local 3 pack. Being in city limits helps them appear. When they appears has much to do with a user’s location in many cases now, too.

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