Google+ Local Listings Get Two Columns

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It appears that businesses’ Google+ Local listings have gotten yet another facelift.  Now they’re laid out in two columns.  Here’s what you see above the fold:

google-plus-local-double-column1

Lower down on the page, you’ll see double-barreled review action:

google-plus-local-double-column2

An early version of this new layout was spotted “in the wild” last week on Linda Buquet’s forum.  It looks like the two-column layout now has rolled out more broadly.

I like the new look.  Of course, the sleek new design would matter more if the “review pop-up” went away and more people actually ended up on businesses’ Google listings.

The main upshot of the new layout is that it highlights a business’s Google Plus reviews.  The “Reviews Summary” box is now up near the top-left corner of the page, where – as most eye-tracking studies will tell you – people tend to look the most.  Even more prominent is what’s right above the “Reviews Summary” box: a big “pencil” button that people can click on to write reviews.

Google is pushing reviews.  Hard.  This is just the latest in a series of moves by Google.  Some highlights:

Google seems to be sculpting much of its Places/Plus/Maps results around reviews.  I think they’re trying to tell us something.

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Comments

  1. Actually, it’s not only 2 columns, but the number of columns varies, when you change the width of the browser window.

    What’s more remarkable, is that the order of the content changes, as the width changes:

    1-col: contact info 1st, review scores 2nd, pictures 3rd
    2-cols: review scores 1st, contact info 2nd, pictures 3rd
    3-cols: pictures 1st, contact info 2nd, review scores 3rd

    Could this have to do with:
    1-col: people need contactinfo / map first as they search from a mobile device
    2-cols: people do research and are in need of reviews for their process (most likely from a tablet)
    3-cols: people want to get an impression through pics first, prior to continuing their search process
    ???

    Am curious about your opinions…

    Regards, Eduard.

    • Great analysis, Eduard. Thanks.

      I did notice that there are three columns if you zoom out in the browser. I probably should have referred to it as “multi-column layout” in the title of my post!

  2. Good spot Phil and thanks for posting. Can confirm I’m also seeing the new layout here in the UK. Brings things a bit more inline with mobile/tablet views, quite like it!

  3. Colan just reported at my place and Phil confirmed that the changes rolled back and now we have the old design again.

    I just checked and that’s what I’m seeing. Update flew the coop.

    I think it will be back though. Anyone still seeing it?

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  1. […] looks like the "two columns" change has just rolled out more broadly: Google+ Local Listings Get Two Columns | LocalVisibilitySystem.com Wasn't seeing it a week ago. Am […]

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