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Google Local Carousel: An Interactive Means to Finding Local Restaurants, Entertainment & Attractions in Google Local Search

06-19-13 by Matt Dimock

Earlier this morning, Google publicly announced the release of Google’s local carousel feature in English to desktops within the United States. Until today, the Google local carousel has only been available to some Nexus and iPad tablet users. Having been initially introduced back in December, 2012, we think it is safe to say the feedback for the local carousel was positive enough for Google to want to roll out such a significant design change to their search results. However, it does seem Google is still only taking baby steps, as Google’s carousel is only being displayed for specific types of local businesses.

Baby Google baboon

What is Google Carousel?

Google carousel is an interactive scrolling bar displayed at the top of some of Google’s local search results, introduced to increase the user experience and accuracy of searches while searching for popular local companies. In Google’s official plus post on carousel, they provide a quick run-down of the features you will currently encounter while using the Google local carousel. The most noticeable feature is that the carousel displays a large amount of businesses within a smaller surface area than the traditional 7-pack or blended search results. The number of local businesses it displays must vary based on screen size, as we were able to see 15 businesses on the first tab of the slide. In clicking the directional arrow located at the far right of the listings, Google displayed an additional five listings relevant to our targeted search. And in clicking on one of the new local business listings, Google automatically performed a search based on [company name] + [company city], which then brought up search results and the knowledge graph relevant to searched company and city.

Clicking on Dave & Buster’s while doing a search for Arcades in Irvine, for example, revealed the following information:

  • A main photograph chosen by that business to represent their business.
  • A clickable map which could be used for further refining your search, or simply to browse the area.
  • A button for getting directions to the business in your search, and another for writing a review.
  • Contact details, which included just the address and phone number.
  • A dollar sign ($) guide, with one through four $’s to indicate the prices to expect at that business.
  • The hours for the day with a link to see all hours.
  • A link to their menu located at Allmenus.com.
  • An overall review score of their business using the Zagat rating system.
  • A numbered link to their reviews listed within their Google Plus profile, with the number being their total number of Google reviews.
  • Links to more reviews on their local profiles at sites like yahoo.com, insiderpages.com, judysbook.com, and urbanspoon.com.
  • A short list of other popular and relevant local business names linking to their Google local listings.

Below is a screenshot, highlighting the Google carousel in Google’s search results. Click the image to view the live listing.

Update, 6/20/2013: Please note the below linked image may not show you the exact listing you see in the image, due to either caching issues or personalized search. If you’re interested in remedying this, you can do a private (or incognito) search, and can also change the area you search from by clicking on the Search tools tab in the search page’s top navigation.

Google local carousel example for Dave & Buster's Irvine

Will Google Carousel Display Plumbing, HVAC & Other Contractor Companies?

Simply put, no. As of today, it does not appear it will affect you in the slightest, unless of course you want a quick and easy way to find local restaurants, attractions, or entertainment. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this eventually roll out to all local businesses though, as Google is keen on always providing the best possible user experience, and this already seems like a far cry from the way they used to display these types of search results. But as the Google carousel is still in its infancy, we are certain we will be seeing even more features introduced in the future.

iMarket Solutions always does its best to not only stay on top of game changing search engine changes, but to also make sure our clients are informed and prepared for what is to come. If you have any questions regarding the Google local carousel and how it could affect your local business, or want help with optimizing your contractor company’s Google local listing, feel free to reach out to us at (800) 727-3920.

Matt Dimock (12 Posts)

Matt Dimock is the SEO Manager at iMarket Solutions. Passionate about both search engine optimization and research and development, Matt strives to bring to the company innovative, and yet effective, strategies that help our clients dominate their competition both organically and locally. Matt leads our team of SEO Specialists with over 6 years of SEO and Internet marketing experience, and more than 8 years of management experience.


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