Have you taken a ride on Google’s carousel? Although iPad and Nexus tablet users have seen this feature since the end of last year, it’s definitely a new search experience for many desktop computer users. Remember all those summer updates and changes Google was talking about earlier? Luckily for us, this one seems to be helpful for users and businesses across the board!
A Richer Search Experience
As an owner of a small business, especially for restaurants, bars, hotels & other local businesses, it’s important to see how your listing shows up on this “carousel ride”. This also means being aware of your customer reviews, image associated with your business and how your competitors show up. First impressions mean everything and you want to be the pretty horse on this ride.
At first look, it might seem overwhelming as there’s the carousel (an additional scrolling list at the top of search results), a map along with organic search results. Note that review sites (Yelp, UrbanSpoon, Yellow pages etc.) are likely to dominate page 1 of these results, at least for now.
More Competition and Opportunities
Keep your eyes peeled! While Google local carousel is currently available for some categories, it’s likely that its reach will only grow into more verticals. It’s also not unreasonable to expect different design layouts and functions like Google has been experimenting with in local search.
The location and map features are helpful for businesses who want to capture traffic from people who are searching within a certain proximity. From there, reviews, pictures, prices and other similar factors will help customers make their final decision.