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It looks like Google has given us another reason to focus on position and not on 1st page. Google is testing another carousel on their search engine results page (SERP). It’s been reported that for certain searches like “kids clothing” a carousel with images representing the various categories of clothing are showing up at the top of the SERP.

Just because I’m curious, by nature, I had to have a look for myself. Sure enough! I typed in “kids clothes” and there it was, the rumored carousel.

Google SERP carousel test

What Happened To Relevancy

I know that Google is always trying different things to make it easier for us to find what we’re looking for, but this one, at this point, is really missing the mark for a couple of reasons.

The first problem with this is the relevancy of the results.google's irrelevant results The search was for “kids clothes” and the resulting category image for “swimsuit”, obviously, is not relevant for the search phrase. Now, I know that this is just a testing thing and will most likely not move forward as-is. But, come on, this is Google! The loudest voice for relevancy that there is.

The next part that ruins the relevancy for this carousel is when you click on one of the category, the search results totally ignore the search that you started with and defaults to the title of the category.

I clicked on the “hoodie” category and my original search wich was clearly focusing on kids clothes has now been changed to just “hoodie” rather than “kids hoodies”. Now, with a more generic category like hoodies, not such a big deal, but click on “swimsuits” and you’ll be in an area that is about as far away from where you wanted to be, as you can get!

Where Are The Organic Listings?

google-knowledge-boxThe second issue that immediately comes to mind is that this is just another widget on an already crowded SERP page. In the last year, we’ve seen the layout of the SERP change pretty dramatically.

The structure of where Google’s AdWords are, on the page, has changed and forced the organic listings further down the page.

The Local 3-Pack has ended up in the main column on the SERP as opposed to its old spot on the side column, again, pushing down the organic listings. And, we’re seeing the knowledge box pop up more and more frequently, again pushing the organic listings further down the SERP page.

Focus On Position

This is exactly why, as marketers, we have to re-think our organic strategy. Being on the 1st page of Google is no longer enough!

Because the organic results (SEO) are being pushed further and further down the page, being in the top first or second positions are critical to driving quality traffic to your website.

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