Recently Google has rolled out a new search feature for certain types of search terms for American users. The new carousel is featured at the top of the page for industries like accommodation, nightlife, restaurants and some other industries with a focus on location. This will have a big impact on local businesses.
Currently the carousel is not showing up for Australian searches but it has been rolled out in the states and it’s only a matter of time before it reaches our shores. As to when that will happen is unknown.
The carousel (seen below) pulls its data from Google+ Local Listings and shows how many reviews a listing has, its Zagat rating and the address.
When you hover over an image in the carousel a pin on the map will show up where the business is located, and when you click on an image the page will refresh to look like you have searched for the businesses brand name.
In my opinion this will have a huge impact on the accommodation industry in particular. Currently, with the rise of more and more sites like Agoda, Wotif, Booking.com and others it’s almost impossible for the average small business to be listed on the first page organically for their location. The only chance they have is to be listed in the maps listings on the first page. See an example below for the search “accommodation Melbourne”:
However, there is normally only up to 7 of these. So for every accommodation provider in the town or city to be fighting for those 7 spots is quite difficult.
The new carousel can show a much larger number of businesses, so what Google is effectively doing is allowing more small businesses the chance to be featured on the first page of Google for search terms that they otherwise would have had little to no chance of being featured on.
This is great news for accommodation providers and creates an even greater need for accommodation providers to be doing local SEO with Google Places for Business, as this will directly effect their ability to be featured in the carousel.
If you would like to speak to someone about how local SEO services can help your business then speak to one of our experts in roi.com.au on (03) 9888 4400.