Google Might Replace Local Inventory Ads (LIA) with Local Pack
January 24, 2017
Google is testing a new look of local search results on mobile. They have started showing a mixed result of local inventory ads (LIAs) and local pack. In both LIAs and local pack, they are providing detailed information about the products/services, but LIAs are not being shown on the map. This is strange!
Below the map, the first result is LIA and after that, there is a 3 pack of organic search. But, on the map, the local pack is getting the privilege.
I have searched with the keyword “engagement rings buffalo”, where I notice this unusual mixed result of LIA and local pack, with the local pack being highlighted on the map. So, the point is that the map is showing the locations only of the organic searches and not of ads.
What is Local Pack?
Local pack refers to the list of local search results mentioning the business name, address, phone number, and map. Generally, there are 7 pack or 3 pack. If the search covers a broader aspect, 7 pack is more likely to appear. The narrower search includes 3 pack.
What is Local Inventory Ads?
Local Inventory Ads is a specialized feature of Google, which includes products/services along with the store information. This is showcased mainly to the local searchers.
Clicking on such ad will land you on the local storefront, a Google-hosted page for that shop. This local storefront helps the users to get the in-store inventory- opening times, directions and more.
As we have mentioned that Google is testing the new look of local search results, different people are getting different results.
A typical search result has been noticed by Mike Blumenthal while experimenting with the same keyword “engagement rings buffalo”. The search result shows a map indicating the places that are appearing in LIAs mentioned below. Here, only LIAs are appearing instead of the local pack.
Though some have claimed that they are also getting similar results, I have never come across such result (with only LIAs). This can be true, as I have got a completely different result when I searched from another tab after sometimes, with the same keyword “engagement rings buffalo”.
This time, there is no local inventory ads below the map. It is clearly stating three organic local pack with mentions on the map.
This proves that Google is trying to improve the search experience of the users, not the business. So, they are focusing more on organic searches than ads.
It has been continuously noticed that Google is paying special attention towards local searches and trying to streamline it. So, it is going to be a tough job for the local businesses. If you are an advertiser and trying to target the local searchers for your business, you first need to understand the psychology of the consumers in local search.
In case, you have noticed something different while local searching, please share your experience.