Google has removed the Google Carousel from the search results. A search for keyword phrases such as Dallas Hotels, Chicago Hotels, and New York Hotels, popular searches that previously showed the Google Carousel, now shows a different type of search result, which is similar to the traditional map pack. This has been phased out, and there is no Google Carousel anymore for any of the local searches. Google removed carousel. For good. Does this mean that the Google Carousel failed?
So, instead of showing photos of the hotels at the top of the search results that, when clicked, caused a branded search to occur and another set of search results to appear, more “traditional” type of search results are now showing. The search results for cityname + hotels shows specific hotels, but the PPC ads are prominent along with the organic, natural search results.
This was originally reported by Search Engine Land back in November, but now that it’s been a month, I checked all of the other local categories that were bringing up the Google Carousel and it’s now totally removed from all local keyword searches.
What This Means to the Travel and Hotel Industry
This is really a huge development when it comes to the travel and hotel industry. Mainly the hotel industry. What this means is that the hotels themselves are now going to “get their keyword data back”. Well, sort of. Let me explain.
When the Google Carousel was introduced, many users would click on the pictures of the hotels that were prominent in the search results–right at the top. When a photo was clicked, that actually spawned a new search result, as if the user searched for that hotel name in the search results. A branded search.
So, previously, if I searched for “Dallas Hotels” the Google Carousel showed up. If the first-ranking hotel was the Omni Dallas Hotel, and you then clicked the photo of the Omni Dallas Hotel, then you would be presented with new search results–as if you searched for “Omni Dallas Hotel” and not “Dallas Hotels”. This was a problem for the Omni Hotel chain, since any clicks from the search results to their website was from a branded search for their company name, and not “Dallas Hotels”. As a result, Omni Hotels would not actually see what their potential customers searched for before they landed on their website.
Now, however, since the Google Carousel is now gone from the search results, hotels like the Omni Dallas Hotel is now rejoicing–they get their keyword data back now, and can see what people search for before hitting their website. Well, some of this keyword data will be back, and the searches won’t be branded searches. A lot of this keyword data is not available since Google’s Not Provided “feature”, but the data is still supposedly available in Google Webmaster Tools.
The Google Carousel has been gone for about a month now. Are you seeing any changes in branded searches versus cityname + keyword searches?