Google has been spotted linking to competitive third-party services at the top of local search results pages.
When people in Europe do a local search, Google now will lead them to find results on third party websites that are relevant. Third parties may include Yell, TripAdvisor, Thomson Local, and others.
There has been no official statement from Google regarding this change, but it is believed to be a response to $ 2.7 billion fine imposed by the European court for antitrust violations.
Google fined for allegedly supporting its own services in search results. It seems that Google’s attempt to appease the court by displaying a prominent link to competitive services.
It is not known how the third-party Google decided to showcase this new SERPs. Rather, they appear according to how relevant they are to a particular query.
Position boxes also vary from query to query. Sometimes displayed directly below the search bar of Google, sometimes under a paid listing, and sometimes under local search map pack.
This feature is just beginning to emerge over the weekend, so I’m sure we will learn more about how it works overtime.
If you want help getting started, drop us a line via email or just reply in the comments section of this post.