I have noticed a change in how Google is displaying the search results for certain cityname+keyword searches. For those of you who often search for something that includes a location (or a city name) along with a keyword, you might be interested in how Google is changing the search results.
Here is a screen shot of the search results change:
Google has recently moved the Google Map image to the right side of the search results, putting more of a focus on the actual organic search engine results. The Google Places listings are still prominently featured in the search results at the top and in the center, but the Google Map image has been moved and it shows up on the right side. When you scroll down the page, the Google AdWords ads disappear as you scroll.
From time to time, Google does experiment with the search results pages at their search engine. Google moves different parts of the search results based on a lot of different factors in an effort to make it easier for us to find what we are looking for. The movement of the Google Map image to the right side of the search results is new, as we have typically seen it always placed at the top and in the center of the screen on the search results pages.
The fact that the search results are now featuring the Google Map image on the right side, where we would normally see Google AdWords ads, is a major change for Google. Furthermore, I typically have not seen Google actually “hide” the Google paid ads like they are doing here. The Google Map image actually stays in view and hides the Google AdWords ads when you scroll down the page.
I have talked to several people at various locations and it appears that some are seeing this new change to the Google search results while others are not seeing the change at all. I may be personally seeing this change because of the number of cityname+keyword searches that I personally perform every day. But, it may be just a random thing. It is worth noting that I am not logged into Google while seeing this. In fact, while Google does know my location (they show my location based on my IP address), Google displays my current location on the left side of the search results.
I do not know if this change is going to be rolled out to everyone worldwide and if it is just an experiment on Google’s part. However, whatever is going on in this case I have to say that I like it. I like the new change of moving the Google Map image to the right side. If I really want to use the map, then I will click on it. Otherwise, in most cases, I typically have found the older location of the Google map image being rather large and obtrusive in the organic search results.