Picture this: you’re a digital marketer working with local businesses to channel more traffic to their websites. As you check Google, you suddenly realize the Map Pack is gone. What in the world just happened? Why is the local map pack gone all of a sudden?
Like you, many digital marketers worldwide are still trying to understand the unforeseen absence of the local map pack. Some were confused, while others went bananas to figure out why Google suddenly “removed” the local pack. At around 11:30 AM ET, the map results suddenly vanished, leaving regular searchers confused and digital marketers perplexed by the unaccounted removal of the local map pack.
Barry Schwartz, a contributing editor to the famous SEO news website Search Engine Land believed the sudden loss of the map pack to be a bug. And it turns out that he’s somewhat right! For around 20 minutes, nobody seemed to trigger the local map pack. Instead, you get the standard ten blue links without the map. After the said time when the map pack went MIA, it went back up again.
This left many digital marketers wondering: is it only a bug, or is there something else to know?
What is the Google Map Pack?
For those who don’t know, the Google Map Pack is the map results you typically see when making queries for local products, services, or businesses. It refers to the top position in Google’s local search results, where the search engine features businesses along their locations marked on a map using place markers. For example, try searching for “pet shops near me,” and you’ll see the highest-ranking digital marketing companies in your local area on the first page of the search engine results page (SERP).
The Map Pack displays three businesses most relevant to the search query and their essential information. Some of the components you’ll find in a Map Pack include:
- Business name: The business’s name appears at the top of the Map Pack.
- Address: The business address is displayed underneath the business name.
- Phone number: The business phone number is displayed next to the address.
- Ratings and reviews: The ratings and reviews provide social proof and help potential customers decide whether to visit the business.
- Website: The Map Pack displays a link to the business website, making it easy for potential customers to navigate to the website and learn more about the business.
- Directions: The Map Pack also displays a button that allows users to get directions to the business location. This feature is handy for users searching for businesses on mobile devices.
These components provide users with all the essential information they need to decide whether to visit a business. Therefore, businesses must ensure all the information they’ve provided is accurate, consistent, and up-to-date. Doing so increases their chances of getting selected by potential customers.
What Are the Benefits of Google Map Pack?
Many people don’t know how critical Map Packs are to local businesses. For example, suppose you’re operating a local business and want more customers to flock to you. In that case, you’ll need to optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing and improve your local SEO to significantly improve your chances of appearing in the map pack.
Google Map Pack provides several benefits to businesses, including:
- Increased visibility: The Map Pack appears at the top of the search results page, making it highly visible to users. Businesses that appear in the Map Pack are more likely to get noticed by potential customers, increasing their visibility and exposure.
- Improved local SEO: The Map Pack is a critical component of local SEO. When businesses optimize their Google My Business listing and appear in the Map Pack, they improve their local SEO ranking, making it easier for users to find them when searching for businesses in their local area.
- Increased web traffic: Businesses that appear in the Map Pack typically receive more clicks and web traffic than those that do not. Users can easily navigate to the business website from the Map Pack, increasing the chances of generating leads and sales.
- Improved credibility and trust: The Map Pack displays the ratings and reviews of the business, providing social proof and building credibility and trust with potential customers. Businesses with high ratings and positive reviews are more likely to be selected by users, improving their reputation and brand image.
- Cost-effective advertising: The Map Pack is a cost-effective way for businesses to advertise their products and services. Unlike paid advertising, appearing in the Map Pack does not require businesses to pay for clicks or impressions, making it an affordable and effective way to reach potential customers.
Why We Care
We completely understand why many people went haywire during the 20 minutes when the Google Map Pack was gone. Here at Mack Media, we fully comprehend this feature’s importance because it influences consumers’ purchasing decisions whenever they search for products and services online.
BrightLocal’s 2023 Customer Review Survey reveals that approximately 98% of consumers in 2022 use online searches to locate local businesses and learn more about them. It’s no surprise how the Google Map Pack can be a powerful feature that businesses can use to attract potential customers in their vicinity. The tremendous traffic generated by the map pack underscores its importance for local businesses, to the point where even a temporary absence of the map pack can result in significant losses for these businesses.