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Google Removing “More Places” Button Could Impact Law Firms

Posted on Tuesday, February 27th, 2024 at 11:45 am    

[Update 2/28/2024] The button is back. Google completed the testing for this feature and has reverted to showing more maps results after clicking “More businesses”. See the detailed explanation below.

In an unexpected development, we’ve seen recent Google searches removing the “More Places” button from local search results. This change is particularly impactful for law firms investing into search marketing, potentially limiting visibility for those not ranked in the top three Google Maps listings or within the results in the Local Services Ads (LSAs) section.

Understanding the “More Places” Button:

The “More Places” button served as an opportunity for law firms outside the coveted Maps 3-Pack, offering a chance for impressions and ultimately, clicks. Its removal poses challenges for countless firms relying on this feature to gain visibility online.

The Rise of Local Service Ads:

As we kept searching our keywords, our team detected a new button below the LSA section. “More Personal Injury Lawyers” with an arrow. This addition could indicate Google’s plans to bring more focus to the LSA segment of their SERPs. This shift would cause more clicks towards LSA profiles over traditional Maps and Organic search placements. For attorneys, particularly those in competitive fields like personal injury law, this could signify a pivotal shift in how digital visibility is achieved.

Impact on Law Firm SEO:

These changes underscore the increasing importance of LSAs in law firm digital marketing strategies. As Google experiments with expanding LSAs, law firms should consider their need to adjust organic and paid efforts. This new update points to a potentially significant transformation in SEO for lawyers, emphasizing the need for firms to be agile and responsive to search engine dynamics.

In our own testing, there were 2 buttons that continued to appear: “More Personal Injury Lawyers” in the LSA results and “More businesses” in the map section.

Clicking the “More Personal Injury Lawyers” button brings up an expanded LSA view that lists out other local law firms.  This view shows a search for “Personal injury law” with the location set to “San Diego” – which indicates the core identifiers that are populating this list of local law firms.

However, clicking on the “More businesses” button directs users to a Google Maps search for “san diego personal injury lawyer” which is the original search term that was tested. This is essentially the new face of the “More places” button that we are used to. For some of these maps results, the “Google Screened” badge appears just like within the LSA results.

TSEG’s Proactive Approach:

At TSEG, we are closely monitoring these developments to ensure our clients’ expectations are met. We are emphasizing the importance of active Google Reviews management and engagement, and we always advocate for a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes optimizing for LSAs and PPC alongside traditional SEO efforts.

What Your Firm Should Consider

Google’s recent updates could herald a major shift in law firm SEO, making it more crucial than ever for firms to adapt their strategies to remain competitive. With TSEG’s expertise, law firms can navigate these changes confidently, ensuring they continue to stand out in an increasingly crowded digital space.

For ongoing insights and strategies tailored to law firm SEO, trust TSEG to keep your practice ahead of the game.