The Google Carousel & Local Directories

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by andrewsho

“Nostalgia means the pain from an old wound…” – Don Draper

When Google’s new Local Carousel came to a town near you a couple of weeks ago, I immediately envisioned the Don Drapers of local search in conference rooms around the country dramatically presenting their initial impressions. Of course at the end, instead of Duck saying “Good luck at your next meeting,” he said “Good luck at your next job.”

Logan's Run Carousel

My initial impression was that the imagery and prominence of the Local Carousel was just so…juicy…that it would immediately attract clicks away from the SERPs where the local directories vied for your attention (can anyone come up with a catchy rubric for that section?).

Big Wong Restaurant

So now that we are a little more than two weeks into the PC era (“Post-Carousel”), I checked to see how some of the sites I work on that target searches that bring up the Carousel were doing. Based on about 10 million queries worth of data, it looks like the Carousel has virtually no effect on local directory traffic. As an example, here’s the Google referral data for June for a site that primarily targets local restaurant queries:

Google Local Carousel SEO Traffic

In retrospect, this is not too surprising. A click to the Carousel merely returns a brand search result that typically contains plenty of local directories. I think the technical term is that these SERPs are “lousy” with local directories:
Bone Lick Park Bar B Que

So have no fear you Don’s of the local search world. You can put that bottle of Scotch away…for now.

Some excellent observations from the Local SEO peanut gallery:

Local Carousel Reporting From Around the Web – Mike Blumenthal

Google’s Local Carousel – Trapped in Google’s World – Mike Blumenthal

Say Goodbye to Non-branded Keyword Traffic If You’re In The Local Carousel – Greg Gifford

54 Keywords Triggering Google’s Local Carousel – Adam Dorfman

10 Random People’s Reactions To Google Local Carousel – Mike Ramsey

New Local Carousel – Aaron Wall


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