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What Is Google Snack Pack?

Also known and referred to as the “Local 3 Pack” or “Google 3 Pack”. Google Snack Pack is a boxed area that appears on the first results page when a local online search is made through Googles search engine. The Snack Pack box displays the top 3 local business listings most relevant to the search enquiry. The amount of clicks and online traffic that is generated inside of the Snack Pack area is substantially higher than websites that are listed outside of it.

This is why business owners place such high value and ambitions on being listed in the top 3. To the millions of online users that are using Googles search engine every day, any business that is appearing in a top 3 search result automatically appears to be of high authority.

And it makes sense that people would want to connect and buy from local businesses that appear to be well known and established. If you’re serious about generating high local traffic to your business, this is a prime position for your business to be listed.

ADEL SEO on Google Map

A Brief History of Google Map

In 2006 Google released One Box, now known as the original 3 Pack. One box was designed to be useful tool for Googles online users, who wanted to quickly and effectively retrieve local business details from a search results.

In January 2008, Google released an update (well received by the SEO industry) which became known as the local 10 Pack. True to its name, the 10 Pack listed the top 10 most relevant local business listings and gave SEO professionals the opportunity to provide their clients with a fast visible return of investment. However, the 10 Pack only survived around 12 months before Google reduced the listings from 10 to 7.

And as of 2009 7 Packs had completely replaced all 10 Pack listings. With the 7 Pack listings going strong for around 6 years, no one expected the dramatic change Google was about to drop on the online community.

And in August 2015 people began noticing that the usual 7 Pack local listing was now replaced with only 3 local listings from a desktop search result. This was an unusual delivery from Google given that they usually tested these kind of local listing changes on specific countries first. However the update had quickly replaced all 7 Pack listings globally making way for the new 3 Packs.

With the substantial reduction in listing size, the online community soon adopted the name “Snack Pack” for the 3 Pack local listings. And as if the battle to rank at the top of local listings wasn’t competitive enough… the obvious decrease in listings (from 10 to 7 and as it is now 3) made it even harder for online businesses and website owners to reach the top.

This 3 Pack update also caused much panic for Adelaide SEO professionals who knew how competitive it would now be to get their clients to rank in top results.

Why 3?

With Googles ongoing and unpredictable ambition towards optimising the user experience, it was only a matter of time before they would begin to shift their focus on the ever increasing mobile phone user market. The Google Snack Pack as we know it today is congruent in experience across both the mobile and desktop platforms, with 3 pack listings fitting perfectly to a mobile phone screen.

The Evolution to Google’s Local Listings

Google’s commitment to providing users with the most relevant local business information has seen a dynamic evolution over the years. From the initial “One Box” that spotlighted a single business to the subsequent “10 Pack” and “7 Pack” listings,

Google continually refined its display to cater to user needs.

The current “Snack Pack,” showcasing the top three local businesses, is a testament to this evolution. This compact format, optimized for mobile screens, underscores the importance of local search in today’s mobile-first world.

Subject to the amount of information given by the business owner, a listing inside the Google Snack Pack box will display the businesses details such as:

  • Business name
  • Business description
  • Website
  • Categories
  • Number of reviews
  • Short description
  • Location
  • Contact details
  • Star rating average
  • Business images
  • Business hours

In the past a listing click through would result in the user being directed to the businesses website, however this is no longer the case. This is yet another change that came through with the 3 Pack update. This expanded area as it appears from the user click-through, reveals information that was not displayed in the original listing (before the click through).

One of these areas that appears in the expanded listings area is the Star Ratings and Reviews section. Once a user has clicked on a particular listing it will reveal a star rating “break down” and a feed of customer reviews (if there are any). It will also interest business owners to know that users are given an option to “filter” their search results by the star ratings. If a business website has low ratings and or poor reviews, this is going to be a substantial issue in relation to the websites SEO results and ranking on Google.

Businesses who don’t have any existing reviews are unlikely to show up high in search results, particularly those exisiting in a competitive industry. This filtering option has made customer feedback more important than ever for online businesses desiring to be inside the Google Snack Pack section. Understanding the impact of ratings and reviews for online businesses and SEO results should be viewed from the user experience.

Mobile Optimisation for Snack Pack Success

Ensuring your business’s online presence is optimised for mobile devices is paramount. The Google Snack Pack, with its compact and user-friendly design, is tailored for mobile users, offering them quick access to the most relevant local businesses at their fingertips.

A website that loads swiftly on mobile devices, offers easy navigation, and provides concise, relevant information can significantly enhance user experience. This positive interaction not only increases the likelihood of conversions but also sends positive signals to search engines about the site’s relevance and utility.

Consider yourself your customer in the following situation:

If you were searching online for a particular service in your local area…

Are you more likely to click on a business listing that has a 5 star rating, over a business listing with a 3 star rating?

Are you more likely to reach out to a business that has a positive list of online reviews, over a business with no reviews at all?

Are you likely to contact business that displays an online feed of negative reviews?

If given a star rating filter option for your search results…Would you be more likely to choose a business that has a high rating of 4 and up, or would you be more inclined to browse through low rated business listings?

After answering these questions it’s going to be pretty obvious that your online prospects are going to be drawn to business listings that possess high star ratings and display a positive feed of customer reviews.

How to get into the top 3

The set up and delivery method of a local business listing is going to make a significant impact on Googles ranking decision, and the decision of your online prospects. If you’re serious about getting into the top 3 of Googles Snack Pack listings, you’ll want to make sure you set up, deliver and optimise your listing correctly.

The main objective to achieve a top 3 ranking in Googles Snack Pack box, is all about building high quality links (and as much as possible) from high authority domains. This builds a strong online presence for your business and business website and once achieved it’s simply a matter of maintenance.

Prioritising Quality in Link Building

While having numerous links might seem advantageous, it’s the authenticity, relevance, and credibility of these links that truly bolster a business’s position in the Snack Pack.

Collaborating with local bloggers, forging genuine partnerships with neighboring businesses, and participating in community events can lead to organic, high-quality backlinks that search engines value.

It’s essential to remember that in the eyes of search algorithms, a few authoritative and contextually relevant links can outweigh dozens of low-quality, unrelated ones.

Harnessing the Power of Reviews in the Snack Pack

Customer reviews have emerged as a pivotal factor influencing a business’s online reputation and its ranking in the Snack Pack. Beyond mere star ratings, the content of reviews, the frequency of new feedback, and a business’s engagement with these reviews play a crucial role.

Proactively encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive feedback, addressing concerns in negative reviews with professionalism and promptness, and showcasing gratitude for positive testimonials can significantly enhance a business’s online image. Moreover, Google and potential customers take note of businesses that actively engage with their audience, valuing the commitment to customer satisfaction.

In the competitive arena of the Snack Pack, a proactive and genuine approach to managing reviews can be the differentiator that propels a business to the coveted top three spots.

Here are some of the most important areas to focus on improving to boost your websites ranking in Googles Snack Pack search results:

  • High quantity, high authority and quality citations
  • High quantity, high authority and quality inbound links
  • High star business ratings and high quantity and quality customer reviews
  • Optimisation of your website to your local market
  • High keyword and website content relevancy

Keep in mind that a business that features in Googles Snack Pack area, may not perfectly match the results produced in the local organic search results.

Click here If you want to learn about On-page SEO.