They’re Back: Local Phone Numbers

My guess is that Google was testing something because the local numbers in the 7-Pack appear to be back. Here’s the same “dentist, SF” search from literally 30 seconds ago:

Picture 51

I haven’t heard anything from Google to clarify what this was about. In addition, the conventional AdWords ads have returned above the LLAds. My suspicion is that Google wanted to see the effect on user behavior of removing the phone numbers and the traditional AdWords.

We’ll see . . . What are others seeing?

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Statement from Google: “For a few hours this morning phone numbers were not displayed as part of local universal search results on Google. This was a small bug, and we quickly fixed it.”

5 Responses to “They’re Back: Local Phone Numbers”

  1. Stever Says:

    While the numbers were missing in Lucky 7 Pack/Universal results I was still seeing them while searching inside Gmaps itself.

    I agree this may well have been a test. A few hours across the G network would certainly generate enough click data for such a test.

  2. earlpearl Says:

    Its just a guess but I think that the G Maps algos are still in their relative infancy, still not well developed, and subject to strange reactions when changes are made.

    I’m thinking they made some changes somewhere…and an unexpected reaction was the loss of phone numbers.

    Of course earlier in the day, I was looking at the changes, looking at the phone numbers above in the test cities for the local listing ads and commenting in a different way.

    But in general I think the G maps algos have miles and miles to go in their development.

    I wonder how much staff power they have dedicated to G Maps?

  3. Latest Mobile Handset | New Mobile Phone | Latest Mobile Phone | Mobile software | Cell Software | New Camera| Mobile Technology Says:

    […] They're Back: Local Phone Numbers « Screenwerk […]

  4. Greg Sterling Says:

    Dave:

    If you believe Google then it was a glitch. See their statement above. I mentioned it to a couple of people and they were less accepting, suggesting instead that Google was trying something. We’ll see I suppose . . . if the phone numbers go away again.

  5. AhmedF Says:

    I find it hard to believe that a ‘glitch’ like that could come up. They have (I am sure) some serious checks and balances – this isn’t their Orkut Export function we are talking about, this is their main money-making machine.

    I gotta go with Greg – a quick test to see how CTR was affected.

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