Google Makes a Big Change in Local Search Marketing Stars

In working with clients to get them listed on page one of Google since 2003, we’ve seen a lot of changes.

Most of those are barely noticeable by the layperson that uses Google once or twice per day or less.

However, in a recent update, Google has made a change to local search results that most everyone will notice…Green Stars.

Why the green ratings stars instead of gold?  We can only speculate.  Perhaps it is to draw less attention to organic local business listings in hopes that users are more likely to click on ads.

Maybe it is to differentiate itself from Google.

Whatever the reason may be, I am sure Google will have a public explanation soon.

We First Noticed the Color Change Last Week on Aug 24th.

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Google Green Stars Much More Prevalent on Sept 4th

We now are seeing the stars in all the search results that involve the phrase physical therapy and a city (i.e. local searches).

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What Does This Mean for Small Private Practices – Not Sure

We will find out soon but our guess is that if the local listings are less attractive and more Google users click on ads, it will give some minute advantage to bigger practices (e.g. POPTS and corporates) that are using Google AdWords.

Whatever the outcome, getting your physical therapy practice listed in the A-G Google Local Business Listings (AKA the 3 Pack or 7 Pack) is still a great objective, less expensive than Google AdWords and your listing will stand out compared to your competition if you have the new “Google Green Stars”.

Personally, I don’t care for them but that’s just my opinion.  What do you think?