More Changes On Google Places


It happened again – Google Places has changed. This time the shift coincided with the return of the lost descriptions (a Google Employee confirmed a few days ago that there was some special treatment in place regarding the listing descriptions). In addition, Google announced changes to the sitelinks. Currently, a branded search result might look like this:

Google Places Branded One-Box

Click to enlarge

Although Google claimed to be increasing the number of potential sitelinks to up to 12, it seems that currently the maximum sitelinks count for the branded one-box is 6. However, the visibility of pretty much anything else is greatly decreased.

Two other more minor cosmetic changes, which however could also provide some hint on what Google is “planning” for Google Places:

1) Renaming reviews on the result page to “Google reviews” and removing the links “Place page” and “Write a review” for the listings with “Google reviews”

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

2) Darkening the color of the “descriptive terms” on the Place page

Google Places Reviews Before-After

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While tagging reviews as “Google” ones (although they practically are not) is understandable, why Google removed the call to action snippet “Write a review” is obscure. The constant pushing of “descriptive terms”‘ visibility proceeds and I expect to soon start seeing them in the organic search results (they now appear on Google Maps and Google Places search, as well as on the Places pages themselves).

  1. Jo Shaer
    Jo Shaer08-18-2011

    Hey Nyagoslav

    Thanks for keeping us up to date on the latest changes.

    In the UK, we now have the bolding of the descriptive terms in both the description and the reviews. We also still have the option to Write a Review next to the number of ‘Google Places’ although the Places Page link has gone. You have to click on the Google Reviews link to get to the full Places page. Not sure that I’m seeing the sitelinks in operation yet either.

    Opening hours have disappeared again too :)

    With Best Wishes

  2. Jo Shaer
    Jo Shaer08-18-2011

    I take it back, we do have sitelinks for some listings :)

  3. scott

    Great post. Perhaps i’m late to the party but I have been noticing also, that despite the optimization efforts on individual listings there appearance on SERP’s don’t seem to be changing. In otherwords rich content like images, even category selections don’t appear on the listings in the SERP.


  4. Nyagoslav Zhekov
    Nyagoslav Zhekov08-18-2011

    The sitelinks should be up for the whole world now as far as I am concerned (at first they weren’t). I am unable to reproduce what you are describing. I am seeing the same results as on the screenshots. Both for and Let me know.

    Do you mean that the data that you set via the owner verified account’s dashboard is not updating on the Place page’s UI itself? Have you checked for duplicates or inconsistency of data around the web?

    • scott


      No dupes, in fact this listing was optimized sometime ago & it’s appearance has changed in SERP’s?? Was not sure if it was due to the (seemingly monumental) changes to the Places center…

  5. Jo Shaer
    Jo Shaer08-18-2011

    Nyagoslav, In most listings, you’re right, it has gone but, unless I’m being shown a cached page when I search ‘local seo in leigh-on-sea’, write a review is there my branded Lollipop Local listing :)

    • Nyagoslav Zhekov
      Nyagoslav Zhekov08-19-2011

      Hey Jo,
      Yes, it seems there are two types of branded one-box right now. One is the one that I was showing screenshots of. It appears when you search for close to exact business name according to the website domain name. The other one appears for the business name as per Google Places and is the one that you are seeing.

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