I made a discovery about a new Google front page search results format that Google is testing that could RADICALLY change the Dental SEO game, make the LOCAL listings almost 4 times bigger, push organic rankings way down the page and make LOCAL Google Places, an even more of important place for Dentists to be! I broke the story last week via the #1 blog in the Google Local industry because everyone reads it.

I was so inundated with calls and emails after breaking that story last week, that I never even had a chance to blog about the effect it could have on OUR industry. I shared other screen shots and insights over there, but here I’m going to focus on Dental. YOU JUST NEED TO SEE THIS, then scroll down for my insight/analysis.

(This is page 1 above the fold – LOCAL (Places) Listings on top – organic pushed down.)


(This is page 2 below the fold – LOCAL (Places) Listings on top – organic pushed down.)


I’m not sure why, but I seem to be sitting on a Google datacenter test server that hardly anyone else can see. The above test was from Chicago, but I’ve seen similar results in Dallas, Raleigh, Charlotte and some other cities.

Here are some of the key differences I observed:
1) The Places listings are 3 times BIGGER and look like the organic results except they have a map pin.

2) It’s pulling meta description from the site – just like organic. PLUS it adds some snippets from reviews on the Place page. So best of both worlds and BIGGER!

3) As you scroll down the MAP scrolls with you. So even when you are at bottom of page in the organic listings the map moves down and shows on right.

4) ONLY 7 (purely) organic listings show and in this instance most are directories or assn. Only 2 are Dentists.

5) To get on the top TWO screens you need to be in local. Most of the organic are 2 screens BELOW the fold.

6) Reviews are more prominent

7) Link to Place Page is marked as such, instead of just “More Info” which means better branding and name recognition for Google Places

I’m not going to repeat everything I posted over there, so if you want to know more, head over to Mike’s blog to read the full story and see all the other screen shots I did. Some have a different layout with 3 organic above the local listings.

Now after we broke the story on Mike’s blog, Google sent their publicist over there to say that this is only a test. So the actual version they roll out could be different than this layout. But make no mistake Google IS going to be making Google Places the focus for a number of financial reasons I won’t go into in this post.

CHECK BACK FOR MY NEXT POST to see an ACTUAL change Google JUST MADE that moves in the direction of the layout above. I’m going to share 2 #1 rankings I just got for a Charlotte Dentist you all know and love if you are regulars at DT. ;-) One of his #1 rankings shows the NEW format and one still shows the Old.

ALSO if you just LOST a bunch of your precious patient reviews on your Google Place page like TONS of other Google users did, I’ll have some answers about that. It has to do with the update above.


Update 7/13: MUST SEE the new post which shows some of the new changes that Google ALREADY MADE that make your Google Places listing even more important than ever! Google UPDATE for Dentists: New Google Places Layout and How it Affects Dental Marketing