Google’s Local Business Cards in the Works

Google is said to be working on another way to display search results that can significantly affect local search results. The new update, dubbed “Google Local Business Cards” by many (although the name is unofficial) could help smaller businesses get more exposure and at the same time, make it easier for consumers to find the products or services they need.

According to reports, Google has been testing this feature in search result pages over the last month. With Local Business Cards, businesses can promote certain services or content in a card carousel. The card carousels can be found on top of SERPs. On the same spot, you can also see visual previews and promotional information.

The Local Business Cards are easy to use and many searchers may even find them quite familiar and intuitive because they visually resemble the related images carousel. They are scrollable, allowing you to scroll horizontally to see other posts that are related to the keywords or key phrases that you have used in your search.

While this new update may not look that different from Google’s existing knowledge graph, experts said Local Business Cards provide Google with a new way to index information contained in a website. Unlike conventional indexing methods, which consider several factors such as link authority, website content, and domain authority, the Local Business Cards are displayed according to popularity.

How the Local Business Cards are displayed is similar to the way Wikipedia articles are previewed. On Wikipedia, the most popular articles usually appear at the top of the list when you search for a particular topic. With the Local Business Cards, the most popular venues or shops, especially those with the best reviews, appear on top of the search results.

According to experts, the update could be a game-changer when it finally goes live. With the Local Business Cards, it looks like Google is continuing to reduce the influence of backlinks on what is being displayed on SERPs. And as with any major Google algorithm update, this new feature could significantly affect businesses that have an online presence.

Andrew Shotland, founder of Local SEO Guide, feared that Google’s Local Business Cards could potentially kill local SEO. He explained that web-based businesses could find themselves at the losing end should this update go live. They might lose a considerable amount of traffic to websites or businesses with physical locations because of how their websites will be indexed.

 

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