Local Search is essential to small businesses simply because it allows the smaller business to generate more online presence within the local community. This is practical as the majority of all the customers will be from around the area or out of town travelers looking for a place to go. The implementation of Google Carousel is a great feature that was released in early to mid June 2013, that will help generate more online presence for local businesses because most people are visual creatures and they will probably look at the results within the carousel before they look for results within the actual search engine rankings. Carousel also seems pretty fair for the most part, because I’ve seem really small business names listed first and larger more corporate businesses listed further in the carousel.
I’ll admit, I am still trying to figure out how to rank my business higher or rather first within the new Google Carousel. All I really know is that in order to get your business listed on Google Carousel, you will need to have a Google Plus page for your business and the Google Plus page needs to be verified and it needs to be 100% completed to appear within the carousel search results. If your Google Plus page is not 100%, then it will not appear in carousel. The process to make it appear in the carousel is rather quick and it looks like it happens in a matter of days so it beats traditional SEO in regards to the length of time it takes to appear within the search engine.
I am also not 100% sure how it works based on your business location as I’ve seen some businesses get listed in areas outside of their geographical location while my own business search seems to be confined to the geographical location. As Google releases more information, I will definitely be reading more articles to find out more information.
I also wanted to add that having positive reviews will also help. I do not think that the carousel likes businesses with negative reviews and it does not seem to show high priority, but then again most businesses with negative reviews may not appear simply because the business owner doesn’t give a damn about it and continues to screw people over (hence the negative reviews). Even if you do not do this intentionally, all negative reviews may indicate an inferior product or service, so I would suggest working on your brand if you suffer from this. Otherwise any reviews with three stars or more seem to show up on the carousel. It also puzzles me how to do SEO for carousel because it seems to target your business based on your location and keywords that only Google has control over.