Two Weeks Later: Changes in Google Local Traffic

Filed in Featured, Local Search by Matt McGee on November 11, 2010 11 Comments

It’s been two weeks since Google announced its new Places Search display for local searches, and I was somewhat surprised just now when I logged in to Google Analytics and discovered that my wife’s web site has received exactly the same amount of overall Google traffic in the two weeks before and after the big change. Have a look:


Again, that’s total Google traffic — we rely on both paid and non-paid search to drive visitors to her site. Breaking it out more specifically, non-paid traffic is down 7.5% in the two weeks since the change, compared to the two weeks before. And, of course, paid search traffic is up slightly — enough to make the overall numbers an exact match.

I’m not going to make too much out of this right now … two weeks isn’t much to go on. And let’s face it, in this small market, we’re not talking about huge differences in the raw number of visitors.

I’m curious to know if you’ve looked at your Google traffic since the change … and what you’ve seen. Comments are open.

Comments (11)

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  1. Sebastian says:

    Our traffic went up and seems to me to be even more qualified having a look at our conversion rates. The interesting question now is, why and how more visitors came to us?

    My thoughts on this: We are a review site providing loads of SMBs with user ratings displayed at their place page (approved local content partner). Since Google is now displaying quite a lot links to local review sites beneath those “Local merged reuslts” we won some SERP real estate and since these links lead directly to the SMB profile pages, the traffic can easily convert there… not to forget the branding effect of this leading to more direct traffic since more and more users now can see and thus remember our domain name…

  2. Jim Rudnick says:

    Matt…I’d agree for up here in land too!

    All of our clients, including national ones, in the past 2 weeks have seen minor fluctuations only…the biggest swing was UP by 4% of traffic…

    So, far as I can see — so far only tho — the addition of the Google Blend (or The Keg, eh!!!) is not a big deal….

    Course like all things google, I wait to see more…



  3. David Mihm says:

    Matt, the two clients who report regularly to me have said the same thing:

    “non-paid traffic is down 7.5% in the two weeks since the change”

    but, keep in mind that in the Keg/O-Pack those photo clicks go to the Place Page now and are probably visually taking a lot of attention. If someone lands on a Place Page and ends up calling Cari, that’s probably not a bad thing. I don’t know what kinds of phrases she’s pulling clicks from but it would be interesting to compare the ones where her photo shows up to the ones where it doesn’t & see what the differential is. On a bit larger sample size for timeframe, obviously…

  4. Matt-

    Our results have varied greatly from one client to another. One observation, those that ignored local strategies suffered. Those with weaker organic profiles that had implemented local strategies experienced a windfall.

  5. Emiel says:

    same for my clients gyi.

  6. Tim Cohn says:

    My Google Places dashboard has said the same thing for weeks – “There is no data for your request.”

  7. Frank Lewis says:

    I would caution the reliability of any data in making any call presently, one way or the other. What is the basis of your comparison? The previous two week period? A two week average from the past year? I would think that the same two week period from 2009 would be a better comparison but even this is subject to many other unrelated influences such as weather, economy, overall traffic on the platform itself and so on.

  8. I have not seen any significant changes in traffic to my sites which depend on a local audience. My one website which is Super local has experienced a slight increase in traffic from Google.

  9. Cindy Lavoie says:

    We’ve seen no appreciable change in our clients’ local traffic since the change. However, clients are excited about the changes and the opportunity to display an image and reviews in the SERPs.

  10. Denise says:

    So far we have seen bno real difference in traffic though my suspicion is many people will. The new Google places way of listing sites means less room for others ?? In the UK this is still so untapped. With less than 20% of business owners actually listing themselves at all.

    Best Wishes

    PS and of those that do hardly any optimise their listing so lots of opportunity for savvy marketers to help out clients 🙂

  11. Sarah says:

    Same thing here, no real change in the last few weeks for my websites, same old same old…

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