So it’s out! Matt Cutts has mentioned that Google Panda 4.0 was launched this Tuesday.https://twitter.com/mattcutts/status/468891756982185985
But it appears Maps are also updated.
Coincidence? Part of Panda or just part of another roll out at the same time? It is something that I have seen is going to really start to disrupt the local seo listings of google’s famous 7-pack A-G maps listings that gets incorporated into search engine results page listings.
Before, if you typed in a search phrase that triggered a local a-g listing eg. plumber, mechanic, electrician, etc. your location was determined by ip and you were shown a map of the city you were in and given 7 listings and a map of where they were. (see pics)
now it appears google has tightened the map radius to better serve more local choices (from what i see here in the san jose area north central and south san jose have their own sections now)
What does this mean? By making the results smaller you will now have new choices of businesses that are geographically closer to you, what it also means is that the companies that were showing up before might not be in those new areas and get less traffic. This type of deregulation of the monopoly on basic keywords is going allow customers to find new businesses that were previously not showing up.
It should also open up a new wave of local seo targets for seo companies to sell their products to business owners looking to gain exposure on the 1st page of google.
Feel free to post your thoughts and comments on my blogs. I would love to hear if anyone else has noticed / experienced this.