Google has introduced a new local search layout for restaurants. It is a fancy carousel layout that showcases local restaurants in a slider fashion at the top of the results. Each listing contains the name of the restaurant, a photo, a review rating, various reviews if available, the type of restaurant and its average menu price. Cool!
Is this feature coming for Law Firms?
This could eventually find its way to search results for law firms. Obviously law firms could not have all of the information that a restaurant has, such as a Zagat rating or $$ price listing. However, one could imagine a law firm carousel to include information like the name of the firm, type of firm, firm size, reviews or ratings, and photos of the law firm or lawyers. Perhaps the carousel could pull in your Avvo, Martindale or some other type of rating or recognition you or your firm might have.
Google has stated that the carousel may not be available for all categories, and the design could change.
“Why is this feature only available for some business verticals?
We’re committed to providing users a high quality search experience for every query. The carousel filtering experience is a good fit for some categories of local businesses. We will continue to experiment with different designs and interfaces to make sure that users get the information they’re looking for, fast.”
What does this Mean?
From my perspective, they are simply trading layouts and this layout will only work for some industries.
Google will do this if usability and profits increase. Usability increases if users like the layout more and it is easier to find information. Profits would increase if more people click on the paid listings.
From my perspective, the new carousel layout seems to focus the user on paid listings. Basically, my eye skips over the large block of listings and focuses in on the first available block of text – the paid listings. Every user could be different though.
How can I get my business to show up in the carousel?
Straight from Google: “While we can’t guarantee inclusion in search results, we can say that the carousel will show results from listings in Google Maps using categories. Just as in regular ranking, Google’s algorithms take into account many factors to select the places and results that are most relevant to the user. This algorithm based approach is also used to decide which businesses are in the carousel.”
Another reason to maintain your Google+ and Google Local accounts.