Change seems to be coming to the Local Pack. Local search experts are starting to see an interesting variation on the usual Local Pack results – two rows instead of three?
While it's still early, and not everyone is seeing this phenomenon, it does raise some interesting questions.
How will moving to two listings instead of three impact visibility for businesses?
Will the top two results see higher CTR, while the third takes a nosedive? Or will Google rotate listings through this new 2-pack, so that everyone sees a slight CTR decline? It's also an open question whether this change will stick, or end up never graduating from the test phase.
Local Search Visibility Impact
Naturally, seeing a two-pack makes me wonder how big a hit some businesses might take as a result of this. It's easy to underestimate, but looking at a ranking grid shows a clearer picture of the impact.
Assuming this business drops off the Local Pack anywhere that it ranks number three, that is a 38% decline in Local Pack visibility. This listing has 47 points ranking 1 to 3, but only 29 in the 1 to 2 range.
That said, we don't know if the change is this simple – how the top two results are selected, and how often they are shown, may also change.
Are you seeing the new 2-Pack?
I personally have not seen this new Local Pack, either on mobile or desktop, but several search experts have reported seeing it. I look forward to seeing whether this rolls out fully, and whether it applies to every category, or only in a subset of them.