Google has just launched a new look to their local search pages for desktop users called “Google Carousel.”
As of today, the Google Carousel seems to be triggered for businesses such as hotels, restaurants and bars.
It’s unknown whether or not the new carousel will be rolled out for other local business like automotive dealerships.
Although the name suggests a 360 degree of motion, Google’s new local search engine results page (SERP) features a horizontal carousel of local businesses.
The Google Carousel allows users to scroll left and right to view as many listings the user’s monitor can show.
This opportunity offers prime exposure on the most-used search engine for many businesses that may have been buried in the previous SERP.
In effect, establishments that execute effective local search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns can embark on the new interactive Google Carousel straight to the top.
How Does Google Carousel Work?
When users search for a local business, a horizontal carousel of local establishments with review- based scores appear at the top of the page below the image that is chosen for the business.
Hovering over the image will raise a pin on the map, representing the geographic location of the business.
Clicking on the image opens the branded web search results for the particular listing.
On this page, the first listing is the company’s web site, making the official page easily accessible.
How Does the Google Carousel Benefit a Local Business?
The premise behind SEO is that consumers will click the first relevant link. The previous local SERP positioned Google AdWords before any other of the results of the web query.
The new interface offers businesses prime positioning at the top of the page in an optimal format. Along with being above AdWords, the Google Carousel also offers many more businesses exposure than the previous horizontal listing.
With this said however, the example below shows that once you’ve selected your choice from the Google Carousel, your PPC ad will still show up above your organic listing (Google needs to get paid)
Once you make you’re selection you can see below how your PPC ad shows up in the SERPs.
Why is This Important
In addition to the immediate benefits, the new interface can provide valuable data about consumer buying motives. This means that Google will be able to further enhance personalization and prioritize links that are visited frequently.
How To Optimize Your Business For The Google Carousel
The cascading Google Carousel is based on all of the Google algorithms used in SEO.
Properly optimizing your local business’s web presence for local search is the first step toward a spot on the new interface. The Carousel populates and presents information about your business from your Google+ business page.
While being featured on the Carousel is great, all benefits are negated if your Google+ business page doesn’t display your best foot forward. Understanding that a picture is worth a thousand words, the image of your business displayed on the Google Carousel will often be one of the top determining factors for your customers.
Making sure your images stored in the Google+ business listing are eye-catching and of high-quality is paramount. However, the actual image shown on the Google Carousel is based on Google’s algorithms.
Since the Carousel is integrated with Google Maps, your business must be in Google Maps to reserve a coveted seat in the new local SERP interface. The changes ushered in by the interactive Google Carousel enhances the local search experience.
While it’s not known what other types of local businesses will start showing up in Google’s Carousel, its our recommendation that you do everything possible to make your Google+ Business page and Google+ Local Page as enticing and interactive as possible to take advantage of the new look local search pages.
What are your thoughts on the new look Google Carousel for local businesses?
I would love to hear your thoughts so feel feel to post them in the comments box below!
Now go dominate Google,
Bill Parlaman is the VP of Digital Marketing for StreamCompanies