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Google Reduces Local Pack Results In Web Search?

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Google seems to be showing fewer and fewer local packs for various queries in the Google Search results interface. For the past few days or so, local SEOs have been noticing this trend and it is concerning them and their clients.

Joy Hawkins posted about this in the Local Search Forums saying, “I’ve been tracking some SERPs for years for personal injury lawyer terms in Philadelphia and am fascinated to see recently (last 90 days or so) that a lot of big terms are not consistently returning local packs. It varies based on the day and where you’re searching from, but the general pattern is that there are a lot less 3-packs than there were before.”

She shared a few examples, let me share one of them for a query on [philadelphia car accident lawyer].

It use to show a local pack, here is the before screenshot:

click for full size

As of late last week, it no longer shows for this query:

click for full size

When I change the query to [nyc car accident lawyers] I currently do see the local pack. It is like some location + queries no longer trigger the local pack, all of a sudden.

Others in the thread said they noticed the same issue. Sarah Blocksidge wrote, “We’ve noticed local packs drop off (and back on) for general terms like SEO, marketing, SEO agency, SEO company, etc. in the past few months for sure.” And others also posted in the thread noticing this.

Here are some tweets about this:

So something seems to be up and we are not sure what.

If you check the Google Business Profile performance reports, you may notice this in a bigger way.

Forum discussion at Local Search Forums.

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