New Google Places Layouts w/ Gray Map Pins: Face-lift or Botox Shot?

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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…

New Google Places 7-pack: larger & with gray map pins

…and for the “blended” local results:

New "blended" local search results layout

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.


  1. Hey Phil!

    And this morning I woke up to a brand new Google Places dashboard here in the UK! Click on my name above for the full details 🙂 The old dashboard is still there but on this one there is a fabulous new check box to say that you want them to email you with any changes or if they need any more info.

  2. The check box is to request an email when the edit is reviewed…

    • Phil, Mike Blumenthal tells me that what I thought was a new dashboard is actually the form for the new Community Edit feature where anyone can make a change to your listing. The odd thing is that edits made here get updated to the page quicker than going via the actual GP dashboard. Use this info as you will… 🙂


  1. […] Then this AM Phil blogged and shared screenshots similar to the one above, with gray map markers on right. He also shows a 7 pack layout with this new format. New Google Places Layouts w/ Gray Map Pins: Face-lift or Botox Shot? […]

  2. […] are screen shots from Optilocal, LocalBusinessRockstar and LocalvisibilitySystem that capture some of the variety still presenting. Besides the grey pin, you will note that on some […]

  3. […] Google Places layout has changed a lot recently: gray map pins, “preview” arrows for each Places page, and a re-orientated local map that […]

  4. […] and they are always on top of what Google is up to:Mike Blumenthal’s Blog Optilocal’s BlogLocal Visibility’s Blog Let us know what you think of the new look. I’m “happy as a clam” – are you as happy as I […]

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