The Top 13 Factors for Google Local Carousel

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The Top 13 Factors for Google Local Carousel

 

Being listed on Google Local Carousel makes the difference in terms of business revenue.  Studies have shown an excellent click-through rate and conversion rate achieved by companies displayed in Google’s Local Carousel.

 

This analysis intends to determine the main factors that influence rankings in Local Carousel.

Google Local Carousel

Methodology:

First we have searched and identified 14 local keywords from different industries that trigger local carousel.

We chose the implicit keywords for running the analysis on because those are the keywords delivering over 75% of the Local Traffic, according to Google Trends and Keyword Planner Tool.

Here is a short example of implicit vs explicit number of searches queries, from the same Geo-Location

“Law Office” vs “Law Office Chicago” – Google Trends location set to “Chicago”

Implicit vs Explicit Keywords in Local Searches

Most of the searches are on the implicit keywords -the blue line in the image above- without adding the location in the keyword, as Google is already generating since the Venice update, customized search results, based on the user location. The location is identified by analyzing the user IP address.

The analysis on implicit keyword was possible by using GeoRanker distributed local servers capacities – Local IP addresses – to crawl all Google Maps and Google Local Carousel data using de-personalized search queries for each keyword on TOP 15 major cities on US.

For each of 7000 business establishments found in the carousel results, we have crawled all related pages, Google Plus pages, profile pages, and reviews and analyzed the following local SEO factors:

  • +1-es on URL
  • +1-es on Google+ Business Page
  • Google+ Reviews Number
  • Citations Number
  • Keyword in Title
  • Rating Score on Google+
  • Keyword in URL
  • Location in Title
  • Location in URL
  • NAP as TEXT ( Name, Address, Phone Number )
  • Authorship
  • Publishership
  • Structured Data

Please note that URL is the external website/URL connected to the Google+ Business page.

Result: Correlation

All the results were injected in a correlation analysis, using the Spearman algorithm with the goal of finding the correlation between Top ranking websites in Google Carousel and the various factors.

Local Carousel Correlation Analysis

 

The correlation chart indicates that Google considers its own factors as the most important:

  • qty of +1-es on Google+ Business Page
  • qty of +1-es on URL
  • number of reviews on Google+
  • number of citations
  • rating score in Google+

Social Signals are strongly correlated with the TOP ranking results. The Social Behavior could be one of the most important direct ranking factors for the Local Carousel as it has many different advantages:

  • all user’s attributes as industry/contribution activity , user location, interaction with other accounts history – could be used in the ranking algorithm
  • it is very difficult to create fake signals from high authority accounts
  • it can send local signals – depending on the location of the users
  • increase the number of social backlinks – Google+ re-shares – contains backlinks to original posts
  • increase the number of organic backlinks – as some of the SM followers will link their blog articles to your content

Under the top 5 factors only, the number of citations shows up as being the most important external factor to rank in Google Carousel.

The next 4 factors in the correlation chart are all related to the content structure:

  • Keyword in Title
  • Location in Title
  • Keyword in URL
  • Location in URL

Is important to have good content, but is mandatory to use an optimized content structure.

Because all results in the Local Carousel are already registered on Google Maps, which provide the same type of data as the last 4 factors in the chart, the correlation level for those factors is low. An analysis on organic results should show a much stronger correlation level for those 4 last factors.

By understanding the correlation analysis you will be able to focus local SEO resources on the factors with the highest correlation level, in order to get positive results in the shortest time.

How to Rank Higher in Google Local Carousel

  1. Add & verify your business location on Google Maps
  2. Build a strong Social Media Google+ strategy
  3. Add Google +1 button on your website
  4. Build a Google Local review strategy
  5. Build citations on high quality location sources relevant for your industry and location
  6. Build a content strategy by including a content structure – optimized for your industry and targeted locations

NAP consistency is very important, so be sure to use the same citations verified on Google Maps.

You should start the optimization process with a Local SERP Audit in order to be able to track ranking evolution over-time for each different keyword/location targeted and focus Local SEO resources in the right direction.

Feedback

Have you had good experiences with Google Local Carousel? This article is the first of many of similar correlation reports to follow. Your input and suggestions on new factors to be added to this analysis are welcome.

Photo Credit: Screenshot taken on Google 11/10/2013, Screenshot taken on Google Trends 11/10/2013, GeoRanker.com

Sergiu Draganus
Sergiu Draganus is an Entrepreneur, CEO of GeoRanker and Conference Speaker - open to approach any new type of analysis and suggestions related to Local... Read Full Bio
Sergiu Draganus
Sergiu Draganus

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