New Google location extensions in organic search

Just spotted a location extension that I’ve never seen in the wild before – an Adwords-style ‘+’ extension beneath a couple of results on the SERP.

It showed up in a search that clearly wasn’t considered by Google to have fully ‘local‘ intent, as there was no map pack section of Google Places results. Instead Google decided to display the address line with the option to drop down and see the map.

Personally I like the change. It means Google Places – and its buggy process, reliance on fake reviews and inconsistent citations (can you tell I don’t like it?) – warps the results a little less, and the Adwords-style drop-down has been shown to perform pretty well in PPC ads.

However the eagle-eyed among you will spot it’s returned the address of a place hundreds of miles away instead of the depot just down the road. Looks like we’ve a while to go yet before we escape the Google Places randomness, but we’ll continue to work on those location-based signals!


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5 thoughts on “New Google location extensions in organic search”

  1. John Meffen says:

    Surely the results returned were fine for water coolers hampshire [or some similar query], just that google was taking the geolocation from your IP and adding a result from the same company that was more local, therefore potentially more convenient.

    That is the way I interpreted the result, which I was also able to replicate.

    Still a very interesting move from google, and one that has a lot of potential for local SEO for companies with several branches.

    • Attacat Joel says:

      Hi John, yes it does seem to be geolocation. Again, however, I don’t agree with Google’s implementation; I think it’s hard to argue that the actual search query location term should be subordinate to the IP location, as surely the query displays the intent? I’d suggest a ‘plus X other locations’ or another ‘near you’ result in addition to the query location term might work better to achieve both angles – what do you think?

  2. John Meffen says:

    Yes, Joel, but Google has shown itself to be rather ham-fisted in new implementations in serps, such as the google local results being integrated into normal serps about a year and a half back, and as SEOs we generally end up just having to adapt to it.

    I personally never liked the idea that google takes my location into consideration when I have searched for non-locative results. But it seems to be here to stay.

  3. LR says:

    What happens when the location listed says Knoxville, when you are in Boston? We have 200 locations, and each time I set my location in Google, Tennessee address shows in SERP.

  4. Attacat Joel says:

    Hey LR, so you’re expecting to see a Boston address of the company in question? For multi-site companies it certainly appears that if Google doesn’t directly associate the query and result with a particular Google Places listing/address then it will show the address associated with the domain (so a primary, trusted location) – even if this isn’t the most relevant. This is likely what is happening in our example and yours.

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