Mike Blumenthal recently reported several instances of Google delivering authoritative OneBox results for general search phrases.
His “Big Boobs Bounce Back to Top of Google Maps” details how aggressive optimization has been used to produce multiple listing results for the same business yet under different but related general keyword phrases.
As Blumenthal points out. the new spammy results probably weren’t the type Google had intended to produce when they instituted changes to their local search results recently.
Whether Google’s local search results tweak was intended to produce the results it has or not, their changes have introduced a variety of new and different results types for local searches across several different business categories.
Businesses who have received an authoritative Onebox as a result of these recent Google changes might feel they have won something akin to the Google Local Search Lotto.
For those businesses on the other side of an authoritative Onebox result and the now non-existent “more results near” link who have seen their local search presence and traffic disappear the feeling most certainly isn’t mutual.
I came across one such category – luxury apartments – where Google’s new local search results are uneven at best.
Searching for luxury apartments in New York – surely the largest luxury apartment market in America – produces an authoritative OneBox result for a single property.
The same search in Boston for luxury apartments also produces a single authoritative OneBox result.
In both these examples, the most disconcerting aspect of their OneBox result is that Google has also removed the “more results near…” link to additional listings which are otherwise offered in location specific general category searches.
The same category search for luxury apartments in San Francisco produces not an authoritative Onebox result for a single luxury apartment building but three luxury apartment listings.
Same search phrase, different city, different number of results.
Why just one result in New York and Boston, but three in San Francisco?
To complicate matters further, the same search for luxury apartments in Dallas produces a list of ten results.
In both the San Francisco and Dallas examples, Google provides links to additional results while in the New York and Boston examples Google doesn’t.
Why do some market category search results produce clear Google Local Search winners while other markets do not?
Have the odds of a finding a business under its respective category in a location specific Google web search grown as long and as remote as winning the lotto?
Or has the presence of authoritative Onebox search results created a new class of local business winners and losers?