Are Local Packs Dropping From Google SERPs?

A few days ago, some SEOs started to suspect that Local Packs had disappeared from a lot of Google results:

We were curious if this was the case. We have certainly seen a lot of volatility in local search results over the past year. So we checked out our trusty Local-Pack-O-Meter, which tracks 60 million U.S. search queries each month (using Data By Traject). In theory, this should give us a good idea of what is going on at scale in Google’s SERPs.

Here’s what we see for October:

According to the Local Pack-O-Meter:

  • In October, 36.2% of tracked queries contained Local Packs
  • That’s down from 42.3% in August 2022, which was the high point in 2022 so far. May was the second highest month, with 40%.

So, if we believe this data, it suggests that while there has been a big drop in Local Packs (6.1% of billions of SERPs is a a big number), it actually may be that the level of Local Packs has been returned to a somewhat “normal” level. The average over the past 12 months is 37.4%.

Perhaps of more interest:

People Also Ask results have dropped dramatically, by ~50%:
How Many PAAs in Google SERPsThere are many new SERP Features that we currently don’t track in this data, but given Google’s bad quarter,  I wouldn’t be surprised if we also saw a big increase in various monetization features.

So what does this mean for SEOs?

  1. Don’t be surprised if GBP click data is trending downwards.
  2. Make sure you get a good handle on how much “local intent” there is in your SERPs. If the Local Packs have disappeared from a SERP, there’s a good chance Google has decided the query is more “national”, so you’ll need to adjust your SEO strategy.

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