Google Local 3-Pack is turning into a… 2Pac?

Today at SMX, Google unofficially announced that the Local 3-Pack is going to start containing an ad soon. So the 3-Pack will effectively become two organic listings, plus one paid listing. Here’s what the current 3-Pack looks like on a desktop:


You can follow some discussions started by Joy Hawkins on the topic here:

Local Search Forum

Local Search Pros Google+ Community

It’s not clear on when this update will go live, but many experts have been predicting this change for some time.

What are some of the implications?

  • It will be even more difficult to rank in the local pack. Only the top two businesses will get the coveted first page!
  • You can be sure that your competitors are going to be investing in local SEO if they aren’t already
  • If you haven’t already, it’s time to start investing in AdWords

As soon as Google makes an official announcement, you will be the first to know.