By Ginny Marvin
The grand, awkward Carousel experiment appears to be coming to an end — for local listings at least. Google is abandoning the Carousel of horizontal listings that appeared at the top of local search results for hotels, restaurants and a few other verticals. With the changes, Google is now displaying hotel “Book A Room” ads in the ad list format it’s been steadily introducing in the knowledge panel.
When users clicked on a hotel in the Carousel, the booking ads were buried beneath a “Book” drop-down in the knowledge panel. The fact that it was ad-driven wasn’t clear to the user until clicking. Here’s what this looked like earlier today on a knowledge panel for the Sheraton on a search for “New York hotels”:
The Carousel is now being replaced with a 3-pack of organic listings that link to secondary pages. Clicking on one of the listings in the 3-pack brings up a separate page on the individual hotel. The page is essentially the knowledge panel. Now, instead of a “Book” dropdown, ads are presented in a section below the main description information in the way that Google has been doing in the knowledge panel in other verticals like movies and TV show, musical artists, as well as for ads local and online retailers on product searches.
The ads are displayed in a list under a “Book a room” ad header. Here’s an example of what these look like now (though this is rolling out so you may not see it quite yet):
INSERT SCREENSHOT EXAMPLE OF Individual PAGE
Users can also arrive at one of these individual hotel pages by clicking on the “More hotels” link at the …read more