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Google Confirms New Local OneBox Placement in SERPs

I earlier reported that Google SERPs were now showing the “OneBox” containing Google Maps [1] listings embedded throughout the listings in the results pages, not just at the very top any more. Days later, Google has now confirmed [2] this new layout on the new Google LatLong Blog:

You’ve probably heard Google’s big announcement about Universal search [3]. As part of this, when you search for local businesses on Google.com, listings from Google Maps are now blended into the results page. These listings may appear at the top, middle, or bottom of the page based on their relevance compared to the other web results.

Previously we only showed local listings at the top of the results page, and since this was prime real estate, we would not display the listings if we were not certain that you were looking for a local business. Within the Universal search framework, we are now able to more smartly handle ambiguous queries. For example, for the query [san francisco bar [4]] we can now satisfy users who are looking for the website of the Bar Association of San Francisco as well as those looking for a local place to get a drink.

Well, you heard it here, first! 😉

I’ll probably circle back around and comment about Google’s new “Universal Search” later on.

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