Mike Ramsey published a study (n=83) performed by search marketer Matthew Hunt on the effect of Google’s new Local Carousel on clicks and user attention. The study found that 48% of clicks were on the Carousel results.
At the bottom of his post Mike cites another study (n=102) from Ethical SEO Consulting where 30% of clicks were on the Carousel but a greater percentage were on the map. I received the data from yet a third study, which had the largest number of participants and saw the fewest clicks on the Carousel (10%).
Here’s the CTR map for the Hunt study:
The Carousel gets most of the attention and clicks in the Hunt study. However, immediately below, in the Ethical SEO study, the first Carousel listing sees a lot of action but there’s more attention to the map:
Finally, the third Carousel study, which was provided to me by someone who didn’t want to be named, involved 273 individuals — the largest sample of the three. Here roughly 80% of respondents were from the US. The rest were from a variety of other countries.
As mentioned, only 10% of clicks in this third study were on the Carousel vs. 30% and 48% in the other studies. A higher percentage of clicks came from the top organic results below the Carousel.
The prompt for the third study was ”You’re in New York City and craving sushi for dinner. You don’t know where to eat, so you type “sushi NYC” into Google. The following page appears. What do you click first?”
What these three studies indicate to me are the following:
- The sample size matters (% of Carousel clicks went down as sample populations increased in these studies)
- The question/prompt matters (the initial study above asked ““Click on the part of this google search results page that most interests you” vs. the practical scenario of the third: “sushi NYC”)
- Further study is needed to definitively ascertain the impact of the Carousel
Having said all that there is consistency among the three studies: the Carousel gets plenty of attention as do the top organic results. And so does the map.
What would be your takeaways looking at all three of these?