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Over the past few months Google has been releasing what’s been dubbed as the “local carousel” as a new way of displaying local search results for various search terms. The carousel looks and operates much as its name indicates. When you search for “yogurt near me” or “yogurt near san francisco”, a carousel of pictures will appear right underneath the search bar and above the search results.
Here’s an example:
If the user then clicks on one of the entries in the carousel a more targeted search is then conducted for that specific establishment. So, for example, if you clicked on the first entry in the carousel above, Google would then automatically search for “Fraiche near San Francisco”. And, on the results page, you would see a snapshot of the Google Places listing for that location alongside traditional search results:
There are a couple of important takeaways here for small business owners:
1) Claim your listing and make sure you have a profile picture. What looks more appealing from the results above? The leftmost picture of a cup of yogurt or the picture in the middle of a bleary Google map? Not sure, how to claim your listing. It’s easy and here’s how.
2) Make sure you’re collecting positive reviews. The reviews and ratings of each business are front and center. Users eyes are drawn there even before the name. There are lots of ways to get more reviews.
Data-rich listings are continuing to be made more prominent on Google as they look to improve the quality and utility of search results for users. Take advantage of this opportunity to reinvent your business and allow it to shine by making the right investments early. To get started, try searching for: “near ”. See if you show and how you show up!