HOWTO: Track Carousel Rankings
Posted by Cassaundra Mason on 09 July 2013 04:47 PM

About Google’s New Carousel Search Feature

Google recently launched a new feature called the Knowledge Graph Carousel. Now, when you search Google for restaurants, hotels or other local places on your desktop, you’ll see an interactive “Carousel” of local results at the top of the page above the organic search results. The carousel displays clickable images of local search results with reviews and ratings displayed for each result if available, and has replaced the local Blended / 7-Pack results for these searches.


Google's Knowledge Graph Carousel


NOTE: Click on the images to view the full image.

When you click on one of the places listed in the carousel, Google will perform a branded local search for that business that will display a single blended result for the business with more information such as the address, contact information, photos and reviews, along with other organic results that appear for the branded search.


How This New Carousel Feature Affected Places Scout

The new Carousel addition to Google affected the Track Local Rankings section of Places Scout if your ranking report tracks keywords that now trigger carousel results. Since these new carousel results have replaced Blended & 7-pack results for some searches, Places Scout was unable to track carousel rankings after the carousel was rolled out a few weeks ago.

To accommodate these changes, we’ve now added Carousel Rank Tracking to the Track Local Rankings module in Places Scout. This new feature allows you to track your Business’ ranking in the Carousel results by entering the exact business name as it appears in the carousel in the edit / add new ranking report screen.


The new Carousel Rank Tracking setting

Since carousel results do not have a link to the business’ website that we normally used to track ranking, the only way we can track rankings in the carousel is by the business name as it appears in the carousel, which is why we have added this new setting in the ranking report.


How To Use Carousel Rank Tracking

  • Open Places Scout & Navigate to the Track Local Rankings section.

  • You can now either:
    • Edit an existing report to add the Exact Business name and return the new Carousel Results when you run your report.
    • Create a new report.

  • To create a new report, click on the ‘New’ button and the below screen should appear (alternatively you can edit an existing report):

  • Create a new Ranking Report

  • Enter a recognizable Report Name & your site URL  in the appropriate textboxes.

  • Next you will need to enter the Exact Business Name either:
    • As it appears in the new Carousel. You will need to omit any trailing periods such as “…” that may appear in the business name in the Carousel.
    • As it appears on the business’ +Local page.

      Hover your mouse over the ‘Exact Business Name’ header to get the following tooltip that provides help on using this feature. You can also click the info icon to the right of the header to open up this tutorial in your browser.

  • Tooltip: How to enter the Exact Business Name for Carousel Rank Tracking
  • Enter the Keywords, Keyword Locations, Search Term Variations and Google Location settings that you would like to use. When you finish, your screen should look similar to the below screenshot with your desired information entered:

  • Enter the details to create the Ranking Report
  • Click on the ‘Create New Report’ button to save the report or edit button if editing an existing report. You will now see your new report saved in the main view.

  • The new Ranking Report is created & is now ready to Run
  • Next you will need to run the report to see your new results, so select the report & then click on the ‘Run Report’ button. You’ll now see your Carousel Ranking in the results.

  • The view once the Report has been Run with Carousel Results displayed
  • You can click on the Carousel Rank to verify these rankings in your Browser.

  • Verify the report findings in the Browser
  • You can now also see Carousel results in your Competition Data. Click on the [+] sign to the left of the result to expand that view.

  • View Competition Data with the addition of Carousel Results

Other Notes on Carousel Tracking

  • For keywords that trigger carousel results, Google will display up to 20 carousel results for the keyword. So we are able to track carousel rankings in up to the top 20 carousel results, and you can see these results in the Competition Data (see screenshot in #10 above for an example). 
  • Carousel results are ordered by rank independently of organic results, starting with the leftmost carousel result as ranking #1. After the carousel results have been ranked, the organic results are then ranked with the first organic result starting at #1. The reason for this is because it wouldn’t make sense to have the carousel results affect the ranking of the organic results. 
  • The easiest way to understand carousel rankings is that they have simply replaced organic Blended / 7-Pack rankings for keyword that trigger the carousel, with the exception on how they are counted for rankings outlined in the above bullet point.

If you have any additional questions regarding Tracking Carousel Rankings, please open up a support ticket and we would be glad to assist you further.

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