Google Testing Paid Nearby Businesses for Broad Local Terms

Noticed Google testing paid Nearby Businesses listings for broader terms that look nearly identical to the new local snack pack that recently rolled out, with one major difference: pay-to-play listings.

I took a number of screenshots so you can see the various ad layouts they’re currently testing. Quality results for “dermatologists nearby” at the bottom.’=

Update 11/20/15: I’m seeing full nearby business ad stacks for dentist, dentists, and chiropractors, which have also been added.

I realize this is huge news. If you would like to use these images in article, please feel free to, though I request you please cite the source, as this is developing.


Which lead me to check out a few more search queries.

3 ad stack


Dentist(s) now showing a full stack of nearby business ads

dentist full ad stack

Single ad unit which is not nearby (from 11/19/15 PM)


Standard mobile ad units


Standard mobile ad units (showing 11/19/15 PM)


Chiropractors now showing full stack of ads

chiropractors full ads

Dermatologists Nearby

Apple knows where I’m at 🙂

apple suggestion


Google and I differ on nearby. Westgate Skin & Cancer is ~30 mins from here. Top 2 maps results aren’t that close either.

local seo derms nearby

Thankfully, there is a map I can touch to find out what dermatologists are actually nearby.

whoops my bad

Quick conclusions: With appointment scheduling rolling out, rapidly monetizing local search while media outlets are still clamoring over Alphabet seems like a priority.

I can’t imagine them not rolling this out across all major local verticals, despite zero user benefit. Broad searches like “dentist” from mobile devices will be likely be showing a 3 pack of ads once this makes it past whatever validation tests the recent local 3 pack change cleared. SEL reported on Nearby Businesses back in May, but a nearby modifier in the search query was needed.

Auditing and taking ownership as much business NAP data as possible and optimizing for additional locations is crucial, especially if you’re outside of the new 3 pack. If Four Points Dermatology had a separate location page for their Mueller office and solid citation consistency they’d have a much stronger chance of placing well. As Pay-to-play rolls out broadly across queries and markets, businesses may see larger losses of revenue due to NAP inconsistency or other issues impacting organic search engine optimization.

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