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14 November, 2016

Local Pack or a 3-Pack – what is it?

The local pack (also called the 3-pack) is the small block of businesses listed under a map in the search results. You’ll see these when you search for certain types of businesses, primarily one search engines believe has the intention of looking for a local business.

This is one way search engines attempt to serve relevant information to their searchers, and provides opportunities for high rankings for local businesses.  Search engines use a wide range of factors to determine which are the select few businesses that display in here, as often these businesses get a healthy share of calls, visits to the store or visits to their website.

Local packs typically show below the ads block and before the organic listing.  In some locations in the USA, they show below Google Ads and the Home Services Unit.

There are two types of businesses which can be found in a local pack – Service Area Businesses (SABs) and Local Shopfronts.  Since SABs hide their address, there is no specific marker on the map for them.

What determines the area in the map has shifted over the years,

Google Local packs through the years:

tablet display google local pack

2015 on tablet (for a while anyway)

desktop display google local pack

2015 on desktop

new look local pack 2014

2014

google pages 2014

2014

google local pack 2013

2013 – photo credit: Bruce Clay

google local packs 2012

2012 – photo credit: Mike Blumenthal

google local pack 2010

2010 – photo credit: Andrew Shotland

google local pack 2009

the 7 pack
2009 – photo credit: Mike Blumenthal

google local 10 pack 2009

the 10 pack
2008 – photo credit: David Mihm

google local pack 2007

2007 – photo credit: Google Operating System

google local 2004 display

the one-pack
2004
– photo credit: Google News

Bing Places local pack displays

Bing carousel and local pack

2016 – Bing prefers the carousel to the local pack for some categories

bing local search 2012

2012 – photo credit: Search Engine Land

bing local search 2011

2011 – photo credit: Search Engine Land