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Joy Hawkins is saying she is noticing evidence that Google is testing, testing heavily, showing a two-pack instead of a three-pack. I personally cannot replicate this and I only rarely ever see two results in the local pack (for extremely remote queries), but she is saying Google is testing showing two instead of three results in the local pack more often.
Joy said “According to what we’re seeing in BrightLocal, Google has been changing mobile results so that there are only 2 local results listed, instead of 3. For example, this is what a user used to see on mobile earlier this month (traditional 3-pack).”
Here is one example of a two pack:
Compared to what it was as a three-pack earlier:
Ben Fisher and Claire Carlile spotted this yesterday as well too!
Two pack here too pic.twitter.com/o5XjsNyf98
— Claire Carlile🕊️ 🌊 🥑 🦥 (@clairecarlile) March 30, 2021
Joy said that if this change rolls out fully, it “could have a really positive impact on businesses that hold the number one organic position.” “With one less result above it, that position just potentially became more valuable. This is true also of 3-pack ads. In this example, because the business has the top ad and 3-pack ad, they dominate 4 out of the top 5 spots,” she explained.
I am not sure if it will roll out but we will see and we will keep an eye on it.
Forum discussion at Twitter & Local Search Forums.