Summer is the time of year when we’re all planning vacations and looking for unique, historical and fun things to do in the cities we plan to visit.
Making its users’ reasearch much simpler, Google has rolled out a carousel for desktop (previously, I understand it was only available on tablet searches) that greatly improves the visual aesthetic for certain search queries.
SERP, as the title of this post refers to, is a geeky acronym for search engine results page — the page you see after you perform a search on Google, or any search engine, for that matter.
In the example screenshot above, I performed a search for “things to do in sioux falls sd,” and received a fairly accurate list of nearby historic and touristy things to do in Sioux Falls. While this isn’t the greatest, most accurate list, it’s also not too bad. Falls Park comes highly recommended by Sioux Fallsians, just as the Washington Pavilion and Great Plains Zoo, would also.
I found the carousel especially helpful when researching places to visit in my latest vacation spot, Kansas City. If nothing else, it provides a trustworthy list of things to do — mostly because Google is the curator. The carousel provides you with a nice starting point for cross referencing recommendations by friends, family and other places you find in your searches.
Recently, I read an article by Search Engine Land that showed the success of the carousel using heat map technology. The study, performed by search marketer Matthew Hunt, revealed that more people are likely to click on a result in the carousel than they are to click on the map of local results.
The results of this study seem obvious, as you can clearly see how compelling the carousel is, not only because of its location at the very top of the SERP, but because of its visual appeal.
Other search terms that elicit a carousel are: “restaurants in . . . add city,” “bars in . . . add city,” “attractions in . . . add city,” and so on. Basically any search that returns a list of local establishments will fetch a carousel of results.
The takeaway from all of this is that, as an owner or employee of a business you wish to see succeed, you really need to make sure your business listing is verified on Google. This can be done for free in a few minutes and is possibly the most profitable thing you can do for your business on the internet, aside from having a website and some form of social media presence.
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