How to Rank Your Local Business in the Google Local 3-Pack

Google Local 3-Pack

Google Local 3-pack

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you know that ranking high in Google search results is essential to the success of your business. Recently, there’s been a lot of changes in the Google search results pages (SERPs), one of which is the release of the local 3-pack.

But what exactly is Google local 3-pack, and how can you leverage it to your advantage as a business owner? Keep reading to find out!

What is the Google local 3-pack

Google has been providing search results for businesses since 2004 with their Google local feature. This original version of Google local was essentially a list of companies that showed up in response to specific geographic queries. Over time, Google began to experiment with different ways of presenting these results, eventually resulting in the release of the Google 3- pack in 2016.

Google 3-pack is a SERP feature that displays the most relevant businesses according to the user’s query. The companies are shown in packs of 3 and are sorted by their relevance, with the most pertinent business appearing first.

Over the years, Google has been gradually phasing out the Google local feature in favor of the Google 3-pack. Today, the Google 3-pack is more important than ever, as it can have a significant impact on a business’s online visibility and success.

Nonetheless, to understand how the Google local 3-pack works, you need to understand the various transformations the feature has gone through, along with the reasons why the changes were made each time.

Evolution of Google local 3-pack

Local SEO map

The algorithm behind Google’s shiny local 3-pack didn’t just start today. Instead, it’s something that has been in the trenches since the launch of Google local in 2004, metamorphosing through different stages, adapting and improving each time to satisfy the millions of business search queries made by users all over the world.

Let’s look at the different transformations Google 3-pack has undergone over the years.

Google local

Google 3-pack first appeared in 2004 as Google local. The feature was designed to help business owners rank higher in Google search results and consisted of a list of the top local businesses for a given search result. Unfortunately, Google local was very basic at this stage and provided little information beyond the business name, address, and phone number.

Google Maps

In 2005, Google Maps launched a live map guide for locating local businesses. Users could see other nearby businesses on the Map. Later that year, Google’s local business center was also launched to enable companies to update their listings. By October, Google Maps and Google local were merged under the name Google local, which was later changed to Google Maps by April 2006 to minimize user confusion.

Google plus box

In 2006, Google released a new feature called plus box, which allowed users to see Maps for local businesses in the search results. This feature improved the user search experience by providing users with the information they needed to locate a company from the SERPs.

Google local 10 pack

By 2008, Google rolled out a new feature called local 10 pack. The local 10 pack displays the list of top 10 businesses relevant to user search intent. The display includes the business’s name, phone number, website, and the number of reviews. The idea here was to provide the user with the top 10 relevant companies and the information needed to contact and locate the business premises.

Local Business center

Google announced the release of the business center dashboard in 2009. This was a much-needed update to the earlier release of the business center in 2005, allowing businesses to claim their listings and gain better controls of how their listing is displayed on Google Maps.

Google Places search

Google launched Local Places Search in 2010. The Local Places Search is a more detailed pack of 7, giving users a plethora of information and links relevant to their search queries. The aim was to help users locate information pertinent to their search intent in just one search rather than doing multiple searches.

Google+ local

In 2012, Google announced the launch of Google+ Local and the Venice algorithm update. Google+ Local was an easier way for users to connect and share information about the places and businesses they visit. On the other hand, the Venice algorithm was released to help make search results more relevant to the search query and location of the user.

Google Carousel

Google Carousel was a new layout released in 2013 to improve the way users see search results. The carousel displays an image of the businesses that satisfy the user’s search intent. When the user clicks on an image, the SERP provides additional information related to the image using a sidebar. This sidebar display allowed users to see all the information they needed about a particular business in one glance.

Google My Business

In 2014, Google launched Google My Business, a revamped version of Google local. Google My Business provided business owners with the opportunity to supply more information about their business, including website address, photos, and customer reviews. The feature also allowed business owners to claim and verify the listings for their business, which helped to improve their ranking in Google search results. In late 2021, Google My Business was renamed Google Business Profile.

Google 3-pack

In 2016, Google replaced Carousel with a more user-friendly version named Google 3-pack. Google 3-pack is Google’s latest attempt to improve the way users see information relating to their search query. The 3-pack result aims to present the top 3 businesses in a condensed fashion.

The idea is to present the 3 most relevant businesses to a user along with information like name, address, phone number, star rating, and number of reviews to allow the user to make informed decisions before making a purchase.

Nevertheless, after reviewing the series of transformations Google made before arriving here, one thing is clear; the changes were aimed at improving user search experience by experimenting and providing them with various ways of seeing information relevant to their search queries.

And one more thing, we don’t think the changes are stopping any time soon because Google is constantly trying to integrate its products and offerings into the search results to provide users with a richer search experience.

Google local 3-pack and my Google Business Profile

As a business owner, it is vital to understand the Google 3-pack and how it affects your Google Business Profile. The Google 3-pack is a compilation of the top three relevant businesses in Google’s local search results.

Previously, businesses were ranked based on their proximity to the searcher and their Google Business Profile ratings and reviews. Now, these results are determined by Google’s algorithm, which considers various factors such as your GMB profile, website authority, online reviews, and Website local SEO.

Google uses these factors and the quality of your website content to evaluate the list of businesses it includes in the 3-pack it displays to its users. This means that it is more important than ever for business owners to have a robust website with high-quality content and local SEO as well as an optimized GMB profile if they are to be included in Google’s coveted 3-pack results.

How do I get my business into Google 3-pack?

Google Business Profile Optimization
Source: Google My Business Help

Getting your business into Google’s 3-pack results is critical to the success of your business as a business owner. And while the idea stands as a lucrative one, the process can be tedious, and most people give up after several unsuccessful attempts.

Nonetheless, there are several steps you can take to help you secure a spot for your business in Google’s 3-pack results. Some of them include:

Optimize your GMB Profile

Your GMB profile is the first thing people see in SERPs when they search for information about your business. To ensure your business shows up at the top of Google’s 3 pack results, you will need to optimize your GMB profile. This includes providing Google with vital information about your business so that it can assess your business’s relevance to user search intent. To optimize your GMB profile, you will need to:

  • Provide information about the services you offer
  • Specify your working days and hours
  • Maintain accurate and consistent NAP listing across all directories
  • Claim and verify your business listing on Google maps
  • Provide contact information for your business, including your business name, phone number, address, and website link
  • Add photos, images, and rich media that can help users evaluate your services better

Enhance your website user experience

When users visit a website, they tend to spend time on websites that provide a great user experience. This includes things like:

  • Ease of navigation on the website
  • The speed at which the images and pages load
  • Relevance of the web content to their search intent
  • Mobile-friendliness of the website

In 2019, over 53.3 percent of all internet traffic was generated by mobile searches. Most people make searches with their mobile phones while on the go or outside work situations. Therefore, a website with a great user experience should quickly adapt to mobile searches regardless of the smartphone from which the search was made.

Moreover, Google places a high priority on UX when ranking businesses, making it more essential for you to ensure that your website has a great user experience that satisfies user search intent.

Manage your business reviews

Google Reviews

According to a recent survey, 15 percent of customers say they don’t trust businesses without reviews, while 86 percent of customers say they read business reviews before making a purchase. Reviews give clients a sneak peek into the experience of previous customers.

Add reviews to your business by asking previous clients to give you an honest assessment of your services. A good review will help you attract more traffic and clients to your business. However, if you get a negative review, respond to the review professionally and manage the conversation until the issue is handled correctly.

When displaying your GMB profile, Google shows the number of reviews you have alongside your average star rating, so ensure you get a good number of positive reviews from past clients who are willing to review your business.


The Google local pack has undergone many changes, but it remains an essential part of local SEO. To be included in the Google 3-pack, you must have a strong Google Business Profile and optimize your website for local SEO. If you are uncertain about optimizing your website for local SEO, we offer complimentary consultations to outline the necessary steps to improve your ranking.

As a Boston-based SEO company, we strictly monitor and follow Google’s changes to its local search feature. We have been monitoring the changes for years while constantly improving our processes to help our clients rank higher in the SERPs.

Moreover, our years of experience in the SEO industry give us a unique advantage to help you optimize your website and GMB profile for local SEO, allowing you to show up at the top of local search results. So, get in touch with us today; let’s help you secure a spot for your business in Google’s prized local 3-pack results.


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