Recently, Google released a new feature within its searching capabilities. The Carousel. If you search for something and there are more than five local results, a carousel image slider appears in the top of the search results. The images represent each local business along with its reviews, rating, and address.
What does this do to search?
Search results are a little different now that local businesses have their very own area on the search engine results page. Local businesses don’t take up all the space they used to and other actual websites show up instead. Often this is riddled with yelp reviews and other websites that have to do with local businesses, but there are other websites on the first page that normally may not have been there.
The horizontal listing of the local businesses is different especially when one is used to the traditional vertical listing on Google’s search page. In fact, my eyes are more drawn to the images in the very middle of the slider. Maybe that is just me, but I feel more inclined to check out that listing first. The location of the overall rating of each business is very convenient as it is easier to skim across the entire list to find the highest rating. The image itself can catch your eye depending on what it is too. I can see local businesses taking advantage of this by posting their special brightly colored special offers and other things to show up better in the Google local listings.
Selecting a Local Business in the Carousel
Once you actually click on one of the businesses, you are given a mixture of their Google Places profile with an extended Google Search of the business itself. This is very helpful as you have information on the business to the right regarding their address, phone number, prices, hours and other search results for the business to the left. These search results consist of other websites, reviews and such, but their business website shows up as the first listing.
Importance of Google Places
Overall, this new feature only magnifies the importance of registering your business in Google Places. This new feature most likely won’t display your business in the Carousel if you aren’t registered and you probably won’t show up in the search results either. The possibility of showing up within Google’s first page is better too as you are placed alongside many other listings horizontally. This allows more results to show up and it sticks your business on the very top. Make sure your business is setup properly with Google Places to fully take advantage of these new features! Find out more about Google Carousel.