Google has once again tested VERY different layouts for the Google Places local results.
This particular test lasted a few hours in the wee hours today (October 29) but features several elements that having been popping up in Google’s tests recently.
It included a new look for the “7-pack” Google Places results…
…and for the “blended” local results:
Most notably, it’s the second short test of the new map layout that I reported on recently, and it contains the gray map markers that Jo from LollipopLocal and Nyagoslav from NGS Marketing noticed (mainly in Europe) last week.
I didn’t notice any reshuffling of the rankings, nor anything to indicate an algorithm change; the test layout is pretty much just a facelift.
Or…is it just a Botox injection into the ever-changing face of Google Places? Both new layouts are far less colorful—no red map markers or photos—even though they hog more above-the-fold space than before.
Google has now tested both the different map layout and the gray map pins twice in the span of a couple weeks. My guess is that in the very near future Google will stop messing around and will actually roll out a new Google Places layout.