Local search, especially for restaurants, is getting much more interesting as Google rolls out its local search ‘carousel’ to desktop search. It is available in English in the US only for now.
Basically, how one ranks in the carousel will be the new ‘victory’ for local search. The post on Google+ announcing the update tells us
Starting today, when you search Google for restaurants, bars or other local places on your desktop, you’ll see an interactive “carousel” of local results at the top of the page.
Give it a go—type or say “mexican restaurants,” or try any similar search for restaurants, bars or hotels. Click on one of the places in the carousel to get more details on it, including its overall review-based score, address and photos. If you want to see more places, click the arrow at the right of the carousel. And you can zoom in on the map that appears below the carousel to restrict your search to only places in a specific area.
While some iPad and Nexus tablet users have seen this new look since December, we’re excited to expand to desktop. The interactive “carousel” is rolling out in English in the U.S.—we’ll add more features and languages over time.
Take a look for a search I did in Raleigh.