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Local Search Changes With Google Carousel

Google Carousel Adjusts Local Results

A few weeks ago, Google released the Knowledge Graph Carousel. If you’ve used Google to search for a local place recently, such as “movie theater Arlington VA” or “Miami Italian restaurant,” you’ve noticed that some of the search results pages are now overhauled. Carousel is designed to make your local searches for places like restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters, and hotels easier and is based on a more visual, user-friendly approach. But of course, a change this big generates some new rules for business owners who are likely to be in this local category.

Knowledge Graph Carousel: What Does It Look Like?

Your search results for local places now may include images of locations that run across the top of the search page, as well as organic results and a clickable Google map on the right-hand side that pinpoints these locations in the area you’re focusing on. Clicking on one of images that spans the top of the page will give you more information, including an address, business hours, and additional images, plus user reviews (reviews from Google Plus are highlighted). You’ll also see what related local places others have searched. If you manipulate the map (either by moving the map in a different direction, or zooming in or out), the images on top will also change to give you results based upon the map’s location.

How Carousel Changes Organic Searches

Google Carousel is more interactive than Google’s past location search results. This new service seems to makes the organic search results less significant because Carousel’s new features are dominating the page, creating less space above the fold on your site. Carousel’s site layout becomes more landscape than portrait because of the horizontal images running across the top and can actually offer more space for local listings. However, since so much of the page is taken up with Carousel’s information, people may not pay as much attention to the organic search results as they once did. Instead, they’ll be able to get what they need just from looking at or clicking on Carousel’s features. A more visual approach could begin to appeal to more and more users. The answer? Make sure your business is Google Plus accessible if people become drawn to Carousel’s layout.

Make Your Local Business Stand Out on Carousel

  • Open or Update a Google Plus Account. Google’s tendency to point to its own products on Carousel makes having a Google Plus account very important for your business. Even if you don’t manage a local place that’s likely to show up right now as a Carousel page, Google no doubt has plans in the future to keep updating their searches with new products. Creating and maintaining a Google Plus account now will put you ahead of the curve.

It’s important to make sure your Google Plus account is complete:

  • Have professional images available on your Google Plus account. Google first draws on the images that are in your G+ account. If you own a restaurant that has a well-known dessert, be sure that a picture of it is displayed. If you don’t have a G+ image, then Carousel will retrieve an image from a different review site. If none are available, then a business’s Carousel picture will just be a map of its location.
  • Update your Google Plus account with new information often: new menus, improved services, new employees.

While Knowledge Graph Carousel isn’t yet used in mobile searches, it’s best to look ahead—with mobile searches escalating, that could certainly be happening soon.

If you have any questions about adding a Google Plus account for your business, contact Higher Images today at 412.203.1996!


Knowledge Graph Carousel Example:  searching for “Pittsburgh restaurants”

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July 31, 2013 By HIGHER IMAGES INC | POSTED IN SEO