Recently, Google has come up with Google Carousel, a row of images that appears with a dark background at the top of the SERP primarily containing 20 results of travel, hospitality, and restaurant queries. Google is also expanding by showing additional categories in the Carousel related to sports, entertainment and education. The variation on the terms Google Carousel shown is arbitrary.
Now for every search result, the SERP no longer displays a set of 6 or 10 search results, instead it is the carousel that displays the summary of different hotels that is displayed along with the property name, images, reviews and address.
The Carousel has eliminated the local listing pack instead it shows a horizontal row of 20 image-based results along with its property name, reviews and address. Clicking in the Carousel for a branded search query takes to another SERP showing results related to that particular property with a customized summary along with the images, street view map, contact details on the right hand side of the page.
Carousel currently impacts 14 percent of keywords across all the industries where Travel and Hospitality businesses are affected the most where Carousel results appearing for 33 percent of the keywords.
Carousel began appearing in July, though it is not frequently visible. Google is moving forward updates to Carousel and making it visible frequently by adding additional keywords and category.
The carousel is a greater opportunity for local businesses to appear in the first position or more searches, it is like competing with the other 19 businesses. For competing with other businesses, one has to set up the following:
- Set up a Google Places for Business and Google+ page.
- Make sure images are of high resolution, unique.
- Encourage happy customers to review your business on Google.
- Measure performance and establish a new baseline.