If you've Googled any local business in the last 3 days, you've seen a RADICALLY different results page on Google. This has all of us in the SEO & SEM (Search Engine Marketing) field in reaction mode, trying to figure out exactly how Google is figuring its new results, and what it means to our clients, both in terms of Organic rankings, as well as Google Adwords pay-per-click.
What I can tell you in the simplest terms is that Google has *combined* the old map results (known as the "7-pack" or "3-pack" depending on how dense an area you searched) with the organic search listings that were below the map.
This has a big impact on Adwords, too. Ads that are not in the top 3 results (showing in the lightly colored box on top), now get pushed down by the map, which is on the right side at the top of the screen now. Not only that, but the map stays in its place as you scroll down, blocking the view of ads on the right side of the screen. Google has, perhaps on purpose and in a not-very-nice way, made it so people will REALLY try to bid to be top 3 in the ads now.
I'll have more on this as my colleagues and I gauge the impacts on all of our efforts. In the meantime, fellow therapists, hold on to your hats!
Happy Halloween, Peter