SEO: Local Carousel comes to Web Search Results
We’ve been watching south of the border in google.com land their rollout of just a couple of days ago of the new Google local carousel display for web search results. But like always I figured, as google.ca up here in the Canadian SEO world is usually behind the curve, it would bear watching without seeing same here.
I was wrong – as today (the first day of summer!) when you search for “some” local-only web keywords/phrases, yes…google.ca will display same…but only for certain “local” searches!
Here’s how to see same…go to google.ca and type in “what to do in ____________” and fill in your own city name, and you should see what I see….the large black background row of pictures that takes up the topmost page real estate. A gentle reminder that you need to be ‘local’ for same to work in your own city.
Note that few phrases are yet working – I’ve tested for plumbers, hotels, restaurants, wedding dresses, used cars, music lessons….etc. etc. and while these terms do mostly work south of the border in google.com – they’ve not yet been rolled out up here.
And how far that local threshold is, however is something I’m not sure of at this point, as a search for Toronto, got me the carousel as did Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and Halifx too. While I’m not “local” for those locales, what I’m searching for is their specific city “local” info…hence this seems a great idea from Google, eh! Smaller towns of course have not yet been included…I’ve tested for the same results for Caledonia ON, Brandon MB, Red Deer AB and Prince Rupert BC and nope…no local carousel available as yet
So what does this mean for Canadian SEO practitioners and SMBs?
Well in my opinion, this will change how the first page rankings are viewed…before, if your site was below the fold you seldom got much attention or click-thrus. Now, with inclusion in the local carousel, more businesses will find prominence and resulting interest. You still have to have a great google profile and business page etc etc…that hasn’t changed but we see this as a great thing for those SMBs who want to rank better and that means you need GREAT PIX in your profile!
And did I mention how important that thumbnail PIX is now too…Google