Google Carousel A Step Towards Strengthening Local Search
on June 18, 2013, Google announced the launch of the Local Search Carousel.
With a swift & sudden launch of Search Carousel which caught digital experts by surprise. This is indeed a move which gives google engine a clear leverage on other search engines in terms of effective use of its limited GUI space. This novel way to get local search results puts the focal point tightly on images and other visuals.However it will take little more time to analyse its real impact on organic search results ranking algorithm and how to optimize it for ranking higher on SERPs.
Surprisingly with this new inception, Google not only pushed organic results below the fold but also its on the top of google paid premium listings. We will definitely discuss the search traffic cannibalization (organic traffic vs local search vs Paid search) in coming days but it looks like that Google’s intentions are clearly for the benefit of the user. General searchers may find the information finding process less challenging & more relevant?
So let see the main features of Google Local Search: Pre Carousel Launch;
Google Local is a blend of Google Maps and localized business listings, search results & sponsored listing.
- Google Local Business Center (LBC)
- Google AdWords
The Ads created in the GLBC (Google Local Business Center) and Adwords are called Google Local Listings. There are two types of Local listings that are served in Google Maps:
- Business Listings – Free business listings created in the Local Business Center.
- Business Ads – Sponsored (paid) business ads created in Google AdWords.
How New Google Carousel Effects Local Search & What To Do:
How can you wait for the carousel to affect your business? The carousel apparently play’s an important role in local search for capturing visitors attention. But you need to give an extra attention to your Google+ page to make sure you are broadcasting the right message.
When you look at carousel, it’s important to note the increased focus on photos. Does your Google+ page include vibrant, appealing photos that will draw the attention of potential customers? If not, now is the time to get some loaded? Make sure you have your Google+ profile. Are all pieces of relevant information up to date? Check for type of business, address, contact information, hours of operation, and website.
Google search ranking algorithms will decide which businesses are visible in the carousel so make sure you are doing everything possible to increase your ranking.
But Don’t Worry Despite This New Change In Generic Local Searches, SEO Best Practices Remain The Same:
- Use high resolution images. Carousel or no carousel, it’s still important for advertisers to engage user click through by using high quality images.
- Continue optimizing and maintaining Google+ listings. Ranking in local search links with placement in the carousel therefore advertisers continue to maintain relevancy of Google+ listings and generate reviews to maintain and improve local search visibility.
- Monitor search behavior via analytics.
- Continue to monitor any changes in organic visibility and KPIs on the site side. Always prepare to make changes accordingly.