We know how pleasing it was to watch our local business listed on the Carousel in Google’s local search results. However, it won’t be there any longer as Google has discontinued the carousel service for hotels, restaurants, nightlife options, replaced instead with a three-pack of ads.
Google had begun to back away from the carousel from around summer, when it tested a new format that would be similar to mobile search results.
Google has officially dropped the black carousel user interface for the local listings. In case you are searching for flower shops, hotels, dentists, and more, you will no longer see the black bar at the top as it used to earlier. Now what you will get a pack of 3 results, three of the top matching local listings based on the query and Google’s determination of relevancy.
Here is the difference between the local search results before and now:
Before: If you were searching for Asian restaurants in Texas, it would have been like this:
Now: If you are searching for casinos in Las Vegas
It is a lot clear now, however those who are dependent on business from Google’s local results will benefit the most, or lose badly if they don’t feature on the pack of three.
The new three-pack organic listings is an interesting combination of Adwords working along with organic results. Carousel was introduced last year, that forwarded its reach to non-local searches as well, such as U.S. Presidents and states, landmarks at certain countries, states, and cities. It has still not been known whether Google will continue the carousel services for non-local search results as well or not.
The 3-packs are not ads. They compose the top algorithmically ranked listings. Users will then be able to click on any of the three and land on a new business page similar to what it appeared in the Knowledge Graph panel for the hotel or other local business. In the case of hotels, you will be able to see the pricing and room availability, just like you do with the Knowledge Graph.
When users click on the “more” link at the bottom of the 3-pack, it will take them into a full page of local results that could be sorted. There will also be a large map on the right. This page will be the same that users would have seen in the earlier versions of Google Maps results.
This new presentation and flow would remove the complexities of the Carousel and will enable more information to be displayed. Earlier, clicking on any of the results provided by the Google carousel only lead to the change of the Knowledge Graph. However, it didn’t provide any additional information that could be useful for the users.
Let us know if you are seeing similar changes for other local searches. It could be for many local searches for which the carousel appeared earlier, but now isn’t appearing anymore as it has been replaced by the 3-pack.