We’ve been following breaking news about Google apparently replacing seven-pack search results more uniformly with a mobile-styled three-listing Snack Pack. As Mike Blumenthal reported, the Snack Pack — or the top three listings Google calls out in search results — is appearing more frequently as a search result convention over the seven-pack, which lists the top seven results. In other words, it looks like Google is more consistently rewarding prime real estate in search results to fewer brands in both mobile and desktop platforms and across multiple search engines. The more widespread adoption of the Snack Pack underscores the need for brands to create and distribute healthy location data.
As Blumenthal noted, the mobile-styled Snack Pack is “being seen via Safari in the Netherlands and to it now being seen nationwide in my Firefox browser. Given its increasing visibility across the US and internationally, I would suggest that this is likely a rollout not a test.” If indeed we’re looking at a rollout, brands will need to get used to the following format, which demonstrates a Snack Pack result for a desktop search for “vinyl records near me” in Chicago:
In the example, note the prominent location of the map as well as the minimal real estate accorded to the merchants that appear in the Snack Pack. In fact, the desktop Snack Pack result emulates what you would find on a mobile device:
To improve your chances of appearing in Snack Pack results, merchants need to:
- Harness the power of your location data. Absolutely ensure that your basic name, address, and phone (NAP) data is accurate and shared with the aggregators that supply your location data to Google. Now is the time to do a data health check with all your locations. Is all your location data accurate on Google My Business and represented consistently on your location pages? Are you regularly distributing your data to the big four aggregators (Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup, and Localeze) that Google considers as authorities?
- Ensure your site is optimized for mobile. As we’ve noted, earlier this year, Google launched an algorithm update that penalizes sites that fail to optimize themselves for mobile content. On its blog, Google identifies a number of criterion for being mobile friendly, such as whether your text is readable without zooming. Google also offers a self-test for you to check whether your content meets the requirements of its algorithm update. If you are not optimized for mobile, you will fall behind.
We will watch this development closely and provide future updates and comment as needed. Meantime, it’s already clear that more than ever, your location data forms the foundation of your local marketing.