As of the first week in August 2015, almost every local search on Google for any business or service, including orthodontics, will return a result with a new 3-pack. The term Snack Pack is also being used in reference to Google’s new Maps area with three results instead of the old 7-Pack with alphabetical rankings of A through G.
Orthodontic search results pages on Google now show the same kind of 3-pack as searches for plumbers, restaurants, car dealerships, and just about any other local business you can search on the Internet. Conspicuously absent from the Maps area on Page 1 of Google search results is any mention of Google+ or any links to Google My Business pages.
If a website is connected to a Google My Business listing (which most are), then a small globe icon will appear in the 3-pack with the word Website linked underneath it. Clicking directly on the icon will of course take the user to the business website.
There is also a link and icon for Directions. That is where the simplicity ends.
If the user clicks anywhere in the 3-pack to the left of the website and direction icons – an area which includes a good deal of white space as well as business name, street name, and review score – the user is taken to a new layout with as many as 20 listings stacked on the left, with a vertical slider for scrolling down.
Also on this second page is Google’s Knowledge Graph: a pop-up window showing basic information and Google reviews for the business selected by the user. Only now do we get the relevant business details such as the phone number and full street address.
Clicking any of the other listings in this 20-pack (smaller metro areas may not have 20 listings showing) will open its corresponding Knowledge Graph panel. As long as the user does not click directly on a website link, they are free to click about the 20-pack, also dubbed the Google Local Finder in any order they choose, perusing one Knowledge Graph after another.
This new setup for search results features the 3-pack along with Google AdWords before any organic website results are shown. The result is either a click into Google Maps, which keeps users on Google instead of sending them off to another site, or a click on an advertisement, which rings the register for Google