Basically the differences are the menu styles, the layout and really the entire user interface. However, there is a nugget of good news in this change; Google let us know that the old maps are still available (see quote).
For now, the old Google Maps is still available if you use this link: www.google.com/lochp, but there’s a message which says that “this version of Google Maps is updating soon”.
In “old” or “classic” maps there are a few tricks you can use to diagnose problems with ranking in the local map pack. As Google Maps changes there will need to be adjustments and testing done to see if there are similar ways to manipulate the map to bring valuable information to the surface. For consultants out there, most small businesses will be asking you how they can show up in the map results in their area. This change will hopefully not affect any type of ranking/ordering that Google’s algorithm does for the map documents (pages), but let’s see if that changes when they fully roll out and incorporate the new features. We’ve seen in the past that navigation and ordering methods have changed (remember the Google Local Carousel?), so there’s no telling where this can lead to. Keep an eye out for your clients, and make sure you’re up to date on the changes coming through.
My recommendation is to add as many Google blog feeds to your Feedly account to make sure you’re staying on top of the news (that’s what I did). As always, if there are questions, comments, or concerns feel free to find me on Twitter (that’s the social media site I normally hang out on), The Local Search Forum (see widget to the right for RSS Feed), or email me.
I have a competitive drive that is heavily rooted in my love for playing sports. When I'm not active on the field or court, I'm busy making websites profitable. I've worked on small WordPress sites all the way up to large eCommerce platforms. I enjoy the challenge, the puzzle, and overall just love the work.