Recently we noticed a new filter on search results pages where a Google local carousel is displayed:
Now that you can filter Google local search results by price and rating, the value of being ranked first has gone down. Combine that with eye tracking studies done with Google carousel, and I can’t help but ask: is traditional local search ranking on its death bed?
Not only does this mean that Google native reviews are more important, it means that pricing can also play a huge factor in filtering reviews (much like on Yelp). Combine this with Google repositioning Zagat as a Yelp competitor and it looks like the big G is doubling down on moving into local discovery, albeit in a way that is very fragmented and increasingly confusing for business owners.