Google Roundup: Getting User-Friendly

Once again, our favorite search giant has been making changes, small and large, all over. We’re rounding up three recent changes that could prove impactful to Partners.

New Mobile Layouts in Google Search

Seer Interactive is reporting instances of Google changing how local search results are displayed on mobile. Blogger Cori Shirk noticed the change in late October and took screencaptures, all of which are available at the Seer Blog.

Shirk says that the new results page, “showcases a sleeker design and offers a much more seamless user experience. Note that organic search results are no longer visible without scrolling! When you click the name of the business, the listing info box expands and you’re able to scroll down to see the description, hours, photos, its location on a map, and reviews.”

There’s a number of screenshots at the post itself; be sure to click through and see what the future of local on mobile looks like.

[EDIT]: It appears this was an early indicator of a larger redesign of the mobile layout from Google; now, some searches may have ‘Mobile-friendly’ labels attached to results, and these sites may receive some special treatment by the ranking algorithm.

Fortunately, the Google overlords giveth: there’s a mobile-friendly testing tool. Search Engine Land has a full write-up here, complete with screenshots and some tips.

Mention Tracking Easier on Google+

Over on Google+, that much-maligned social network and central software of yore, tracking mentions for both your personal profile as well as businesses you manage just got way easier.

Mentions are now tracked in the top navigation bar, tucked under the search box, and no longer relegated to the little bell in the top right-hand corner. These alerts are limited to your personal mentions. For mentions about Pages you manage/own, click the “Stream” dropdown on the left.

You can find more information (as well as illustrative screencaps!) over at Search Engine Land.

Google Phasing Out Local Carousel

Search Engine land reports that Google is dropping the carousel from certain specific verticals, namely: restaurants, nightlife, entertainment, and hotels.

It’s being replaced by a 3-pack of organic results that follows the AdWords results. Clicking on these results pulls up the Knowledge Graph Pane, as it would in the carousel. Different verticals also have different embedded options; hotels will have one-click booking, restaurants will display reservation openings, and entertainment will display ticket availability and/or prices.