Starting today, when you enter a local search query into Google you should start seeing a new carousel or results displayed on the top of the screen.
Just a few things that we noticed with this great new feature.
1. Our friends at Swan Hill Bed and Breakfast got a pretty good placement when we searched for Polson hotels.
2. Reviews are once again driving results. The more reviews that you have on your Google+ Local page, the better your ranking seems to be in the new carousel results.
3. If you search for restaurants, you are seeing the Zagat score, along with the genre of the restaurant and $$ scale of the cost to dine.
4. When you select an option from the carousel you do not go that specific webpage, but to Google’s search results for that business.
Things to consider:
1. Your Google+ profile image just became that much more important. By incorporating a visual in with the textual search results – searchers have one more way to choose where they click.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews on your Google+ local profile. In the next few months, I think that you will see these reviews become much more important than other third party sites like Trip Advisor or Urbanspoon. Because they are going to driving search and effecting your placement in the results.
3. With Google’s specific search displayed when you click on a link general web presence is that much more important. Make sure that your information is listed correctly, or better yet, have DrySpark check it for you.