Google Carousel – Do Reviews And Rankings Still Count?

Evaluating your strategy’s effectiveness

If you have been working hard to earn glowing reviews for your business in hopes of increasing your ranking / position in the new Google Carousel, you might want to take a step back and try to get an objective look at just how effective this strategy really is.

The truth of the matter is that when it comes to position within the Carousel, the number and attributes of ratings and reviews might not matter as much as they could.

This is probably going to come as a surprise to businesses and marketers who have long believed that the more positive reviews and ratings a business had, the better it would rank. And when made a part of a more comprehensive strategy these things can certainly help increase a business’ rankings in the organic search results, but the Google Carousel is an entirely different animal.

The who’s and the why’s

The idea behind the Google Carousel is to give users an easy way to compare businesses with one another. A popular example is eating out in your local area. Simply search for restaurants in your area and you should get a glimpse of the Carousel at the top of your screen. From there, things get interesting.

Video: Google Local Carousel | The Black Bar For Local Search

Yes, you can see the number of reviews that a business has, but there is no logical progression indicating that review count has anything to do with Carousel placement. So how do you know where to start exploring your options?

Most of us in the Western world tend to start at the top left of our viewing area and move from left to right before dropping down to the next line in the case of text or images arranged like those in the Google Carousel. Following this logic we are likely to start with the first item on the carousel on the top left of our screens and go from there. Because what comes first must be better in some way, right?

It will be interesting to keep an eye on the Carousel as it is improved and altered – How does position relate to reviews and ratings? How does Google determine which item appears in which position?

Your takeaway

What do we know about the Google Carousel?

So far we know that it is a visual representation of items / listings that also appear in the organic search results, and that the means for determining position within the Carousel does not rely in any large part on the number of reviews / ratings a business has to its name.

How can we influence our business’ position within the Carousel?

Since it seems as though there isn’t a huge connection between position and reviews / ratings, perhaps it is time to focus more on the mainstays of SEO and throw a little social activity in there for good measure. Get people talking about you and spreading the word about your business and see what happens. Things are still very much in the early stages, so not much is known for sure. It is definitely a good idea to engage in social media activity and SEO however, so you can’t go wrong wither way with these practices!

In the end you should definitely keep seeking out positive reviews and high ratings, but don’t put all of your eggs in this basket. Do your best to diversify for a better chance at a better Carousel position!

Featured images:
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  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source:

Kris Dietz loves creating something amazing then spreading the word about it! My mission is to develop and mold SEO into an amazing outlet of sharing valuable resources. I enjoy networking and meeting like-minded individuals.