Just as Netflix displays match scores in the arena of entertainment, showing users a percentage indicating how likely they are to enjoy a new film or TV show, Google appears to be testing a feature that shows searchers how likely they are to enjoy a local business.
Noted Google watcher Barry Schwartz wrote about the feature, explaining that it had been announced by Google in May 2018 but does not appear to have been tested consistently and cannot be replicated at this time.
In a Twitter post, SEO strategist Sergey Alakov posted a screenshot displaying the feature. The match scores show up right in the local pack: a 99% match for one local restaurant and a 94% match for the search result right below it.
If implemented more comprehensively, the move would represent a magnified effort on Google’s part to control the local-business conversation right on SERPs, seemingly decreasing the urgency of the local business website in the user’s search experience. The amount of information searchers can find on SERPs has climbed significantly in the last few years, finding a home in the increasingly knowledgeable Knowledge Panel and the Google reviews that have proved a steady rival to those submitted on Yelp, the OG company in that space.
Joe Zappa is Street Fight’s managing editor.