Google has been testing a new desktop version of the Local Pack that only displays three results per city.
Here is a visual of the new 3-pack vs the longstanding 7-pack:
The update appears to be a universal release that is not dependent upon the size of the targeted city, and the 3-pack does not display any links to Google+. Click through to the Map section and you can access individual profiles for the top 20 results featuring photos and Google Reviews.
What does this mean for small businesses? Local SEO just got harder, and having a spot in the top three is more valuable than ever. The new 3-pack also looks shockingly similar to paid results on mobile.
We’ve seen these results on and off again for a few days, but a mass rollout appears to be close.