Most have us have noticed that Google’s made some changes, and not just in improving the local results they return, but in the very look and feel of those results.

What we’re referring to is Google’s local search “carousel,” which was launched back in July of this year for select types of local searches, mainly restaurants, hotels, bars and the like.

The introduction of Carousel Results has been the biggest change to Google’s local search results pages since the Google first began integrating map listings with their organic search results.

And while all of us, from SEO companies to local brick and mortars, may be adjusting to the local carousel and everything that this new layout means for local search, it’s important to pay attention to the most important consequence that can accompany these changes: the way Google’s searchers are reacting as well. That’s because, ultimately, the ways that Google’s users are searching for, finding, and interpreting, information is the most critical change to monitor.

In order to explore how Google’s new carousel is affecting not just search, but the searchers themselves, Nifty Marketing has conducted an interesting study on how real searchers are viewing these new search results, what their first opinions are, how they react and more.

In the study, random searchers were filmed reacting to the new look of Google’s local search. Here’s just one example of a user’s take on Google’s refreshed-looking local search results:

This look at how searchers react to Google’s local SERPs, shows some interesting trends–including that, while the images included in the carousel are certainly likely to capture the searchers attention and can be used to draw their eyes to a particular local listing, searchers are more inclined to value listings with ratings (especially Goolge+ and Yelp) higher than others.

What does all this mean for you?

Having a site that’s optimized for local search is becoming increasingly complex, and getting found online as a brick and mortar business is becoming more competitive.

In order to really make the most out of Google’s new local SERPs, you need to have an optimized site and local listings sure, but that means more than just having accurate information and the few necessary basics. It involves a whole host of local SEO strategies, it means having high-quality photos, getting involved on Google+, encouraging positive reviews on powerful sites like Yelp, and more.

If you’d like to learn more about what you need to do to get your local business found by customers in your area, we’re here to help, just give us a call at 877-470-6930.