I have been documenting here the recent changes taking place in Google Local 3 Packs this year.
As of March 16, 2017, I am now seeing on desktop what I previously only noticed in Mobile search results: images in the local pack.
Here is a screenshot I saw when looking up Raleigh Optometrist on desktop:
Do people look at images?
I think in this particular screenshot, Triangle Visions Optometry and Drs. Moser and Hudgins are in pretty good shape. Triangle Visions has the most reviews but Drs. Moser and Hudgins have a picture of their faces up. Some people can really relate to faces.
Village Eye care is the odd result out here with low reviews and no image. Maybe they haven’t heard of Google?
I personally avoid businesses that avoid technology, especially when it comes to my vision. If a business can’t add their logo to the Internet, I run in the opposite direction – I don’t care if they’re the best optometrist in the world!
As for images vs review stars – time will tell. I’m sure we’ll see a bunch of eye tracking studies out if/when Google rolls this change out against all verticals in all cities.