In the digital marketing world, seemingly small changes can create huge ripples and in my years in the business, I’ve learned not to ignore them. One of the things currently creating a buzz so far this year is the evolution of Local Search.
I have written several times about Google My Business (GMB) and how it has helped several of my clients and their businesses. Having a sufficiently filled out and active GMB listing can boost your business’ visibility especially on local search results.
Now it appears that Google has made more changes in how local search results appear. This has evolved from sorely showing relevant posts (in what was referred to as the Post Mentions feature) about a user’s query to now including several other GMB content. All this is found within the Local Finder and Map Pack.
Since this functionality is now expanding beyond just post content, I’ve seen it being referred to as the “Query Carousel”, which I think is apt.
What’s new about the Query Carousel?
Now when a user searches for a business, place, etc., Google uses different GMB content sources to surface results that it feels are relevant to that query. Whereas before we only saw posts appear in response to such queries, the query carousel now contains relevant information from reviews Q&As and product feeds in addition to the posts.
Often, Google uses content from GMB sources to create combination query carousels. For instance combining Q&As and reviews or posts and reviews. Though rare, the carousel can also serve results from reviews, posts and Q&As.
The results on the query carousel depend on the user’s query and how much content is available about a listing for Google to extract in the first place. It seems that with these changes, Google wants to give users more relevant and valuable results while also giving them the option to explore them further should they wish to.
Other Things to Note on Search Changes
- The query carousel can also surface single results e.g. reviews only or posts only especially if a listing has a result that Google deems more relevant than everything else.
- The Q&As results look really good in the carousel. This is because the answers are in bold, presumably so that users find it easy to find the answers to their queries.
- Posts in the query carousel are only active for 7 days before they disappear into the mix of other posts on the GMB listing. To keep a certain post active, you can either publish the same post multiple times or consider alternative ways to get it noticed e.g. using an Event Post or uploading it as a Product Feed if that’s appropriate.
It’ll be interesting to see how Local Search will keep evolving as more content is added to the GMB listings and algorithms become more adept at understanding listings and returning relevant results.
If you need help setting up your Google My Business listing or any other aspect of digital marketing, get in touch with me today. I’ll be glad to assist you.