Site icon Bill Hartzer

Google Carousel: From an End User Perspective

Google recently introduced the Google Carousel, which has been appearing in the search results for more and more keyword phrases. The Google Carousel, originally referred to as the Google Local Carousel, is not just local anymore. It’s part of the Knowledge Graph, appears at the top of many search results pages, is tending to roll out more and more for a lot more keyword phrases. If you have not seen the Google Carousel yet, it looks like this:

Google must have rolled out the Google Carousel to a lot more keyword phrases over this past weekend, as it is starting to show up more often. In fact, so much so that typical “end users” so to speak (those who are not in the SEO industry but are pretty technically savvy with Google and use it a lot) started noticing it.

As an SEO professional, I was really interested in what “normal people who use Google” had to say about the Google Carousel. Not what SEOs think of the Google Carousel. After all, I have written about the Google Carousel before. I have seen the Google Carousel and have been very aware of it and how it works for a while now. But I’m “too close” to it.

So, what do non-SEOs think of the Google Carousel? Donna Mahony, from Domain Boardroom, had this to say. First, it started with a pretty random comment about the carousel, where she asked:

Anyone else seeing the big “people also searched for” banner???

Note that she mentioned that it was a banner or maybe even a banner ad that was appearing suddenly in the Google search results. She specifically asked about this particular search result:

What I found interesting is that this is not seen by Donna as a “feature” of the Google search results. I may be putting words in her mouth, but it’s seen as a “banner”. And many people don’t like banners or banner ads. Especially when it’s part of the search results. It’s an ad. But wait.

After speaking with Donna, she had this to say about the Google Carousel:

Too me, anything that takes up the top section of a page is a banner or header. It took me a while to realize that I had even triggered it. I didn’t feel at all like it aided my search…either as a user or hindered it and distracted me from what I was actually looking for! I hate it. I was actually expecting it to be more accurate in showing me something I WAS interested in…I LOVE the “people who bought this item also bought” in Amazon…but Amazon isn’t so offensively in your face about it…

So, what is interesting also to note is that a typical end-user thought that it does not aid her search. It actually hindered and distracted her from what she was actually looking for.

What is your personal experience with the Google Carousel? Do you like it? Hate it?

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