When Matt McGee drew attention to Google's Lat/Long blog post 1000 Is The New 10, a beehive buzz of conversation went up in the Local sphere. The 10-pack still exists, but do a search for something like Chinese Food San Francisco and look at what you get now:

Attack Of The Pepperonis!

All those little red dots (don't they make Maps look like a pepperoni pizza?) can be clicked and the ability to find local businesses has just been increased almost exponentially. In some ways, this has leveled the favoritism and competition of the older 10-pack rankings, though the 10-pack continues to exist side-by-side with the map and in Google's Universal results. In essence, all businesses are being given equal exposure.

Andrew Shotland quickly dubbed this new feature the K-Pack (get it: K=1000) and Mike Blumenthal has already found an unexpected use for the K-Pack as a spam fighting tool. Just take a look at this outrageous set of results for locksmiths in NYC. Google really ought to take a look at the embarrassing state of spam overload in that industry. The K-Pack could make it easy work for them!

A Few Quick Thoughts On The New K-Pack

  • I'm finding the interface a bit awkward at this point. The alphabetical teardrop listings seem somewhat lost in the sea of dots. The LatLong article does indicate that the K-Pack results are a work in progress. I would imagine that we'll be seeing some adjustments to the actual presentation of this vastly expanded data in future.
  • These new results may affect neighborhood-type modifiers in search queries. Why take the time to search for pizza north beach san francisco when a simple search for pizza san francisco will now allow you to instantly zoom in on all of the pizza places in any given neighborhood in town? Local SEO may need to adjust for this change.
  • Greg Sterling points out that when you refine your searches in Maps by neighborhood, ratings, etc., the red dots change accordingly. It strikes me that refinement has just been taken to a whole new level as a result of the K-Pack.
  • Steve Hatcher has made what I think is one of the most interesting observations about this application - it could be used by business owners to discern under-served areas in a given town. Imagine you are trying to decide where to open your new brick-and-mortar hair salon. With the K-pack, you have an instant bird's eye view of where competition is thick and where the holes are in your town. What a powerful source of information that might be!

In sum, the introduction of the K-Pack may be seen as putting both a greater amount of data and greater opportunities for data refinement into the hands of the Google Maps' user. The need for Google to address inaccuracies and spam in their results has just increased 10-fold, in my opinion, but so has the instant-gratification quality of their application. It's just amazing to me to see so much data laid out like this. A brave new world for Local Search.
February 18, 2009





Miriam Ellis is the co-owner of Solas Web Design and CopyLocal, providing SEO-based website design, Local SEO and professional copywriting for small-to-medium North American businesses. She is the Local SEO Associate in the Q&A Forum at SEOmoz, a moderator at Cre8asite Forums and an annual participant in David Mihm's Local Search Ranking Factors report. When she and her husband are not working on the web, they're farming organically and working on increased sustainability or roaming about in nature having the time of their lives.






Comments(5)

Hi. Thanks for your very informative article. I agree that K-Pack will be providing us lots of opportunities and amount of data! ;)

Lol... google maps are being sponsored by Domino's pizza! it's subliminal advertising... that's what it is lol...

I really love this K-pack too. Great article. Thanks!

Daniel
dog obedience

David King - Haha, love it! Subliminal advertising.

Thanks for the nice comments, all.

Miriam

Great round up of the new K-pack, Miriam. Thanks for the insight.

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