Google is apparently running a test, placing ads in its local pack carousel, which lessens the amount of local business listings…
Google runs all kinds of tests. And, does so on a regular basis. Now, the search giant is experimenting with ads in the local pack carousel.
Google Local Pack Carousel Ads Test Spotted
SEO Mike Blumenthal has posted about this new design. (He’s been following the changes over the past several months.)
For those not quite familiar with this feature, the Google local pack is a collection of about three local business listings which conspicuously appear on the SERP or search engine results page.
Here is a screenshot of the ad test (note the “Ad” disclosure under the business listing name:
For comparison, here’s what the local pack looked like before the ad insertion:
Whether Google permanently adopts the change remains to be seen.