Changes to Google local Search results: Directories just became more important than ever

Jamie Burgess avatar
google find results here news

Listings in local directories such as Yell and Scoot have long been known to be an important factor for local search engine optimisation, but recent changes to Google results in the UK and across Europe have made it more so than ever before.

What Has Changed?

According to reports online, and verified by our own tests and observations, it seems Google have been testing an additional feature in their search results that offer an alternative way to find search results. These suggested results all seem to have one thing in common: they are all listing based, directory style websites.

While there has been no official announcement from Google, it has been rumoured that this change has been brought into play as a result of antitrust decisions in EU court rulings.

The new feature, with the heading ‘Find results on’, tends to list an additional 2-4 websites that searchers can browse for additional results related to their search query. The websites listed in this new feature are all directory style website, with a mixture of both industry relevant (e.g. Tripadvisor) and generic directories (e.g. Yell).

find results on google snippet - restaurants
Taken from a search for ‘restaurants in hertford’
find results on google snippet - beauticians
Taken from a search for ‘beauticians hertford’

Why Is This Important?

The new feature is positioned to display very prominently at the top of the search results, our tests showing it displays either just below the ad results, or for less competitive terms as the first result at the very top of the page.


google search results snapshot - florists hertford
Taken from a search for ‘florists hertford’ – less competitive search without ads


google search results snapshot - roofers hertfordshire
Taken from a search for ‘roofers hertfordshire’ – competitive search with 4 ad results


This gives businesses who typically serve local markets another opportunity to be found online by their potential customers, and for those who aren’t currently in a competitive position it offers a chance to leap frog many of your competitors who aren’t taking advantage of these directories.

What Should I Do?

First, you should check to make sure your business is listed on the main local directories and websites Google is using to power this new feature. If there is no listing, then one should be created. If you already have a listing, then check that the details are correct, and if necessary claim the ownership of the listing so that you have direct control over it.

Some of the listing websites that seem to be frequently used for this new Google feature include;

  • Yell
  • Gumtree
  • Cylex
  • Yelp
  • 192
  • Tripadvisor & Opentable (for restaurants)
  • Treatwell (for beauty services)

Want a list of the main UK directory websites you need to be listed on? Save time by downloading our handy list of the main UK directories here!

Download List Now!


For those with the budget, it may be worth testing sponsored listing on these websites, as this will allow you jump to the top of their listings and take full advantage of the now enhanced visibility they have gained in the search results.

If you’re unsure what these changes mean for you and your business, or would like advice on how you can take advantage of this new feature to drive more traffic to your website, get in touch with us!

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