Ideas to Use Google’s Carousel Schema

Google has a new featured snippet in beta called carousels. This is one of the most exciting schema libraries to come out in years, and may be a game changer for small businesses, publishers, affiliates, and even big brands in the future.  Below you’ll find how I think it will be developed, ways different types of sites can potentially use it from service providers and retailers to bloggers, content creators, and affiliates.

But first, please remember that schema and structured data are not meant to boost your SEO, they are meant to help you get rich results and more space in a search result.  Your content and page still have to be worth showing and high quality.  With that said, anything you can do to help Google and users understand your page better should in theory help with SEO and rankings.

Here’s where you can learn about the carousel structured data in Google’s developer section, and they demonstrate how to implement.  Don’t get scared about the tech talk, it is super easy.  If you’re active in any of the affiliate programs we manage, we’ll likely be able to walk you through how to implement it on your site.

There’s two sections in this post, the first is an explanation of this schema type and the predictions I have for it if it leaves beta and they expand it, then five examples by niche or business type of how you may be able to implement this.

Just like a carousel at an amusement park, by using the elements from the guide in developer you can potentially create a search engine listing for SEO that lets people scroll horizontally through your offerings (services, events, listings), the items you feature in listcicles on your site, or the products you sell.

Unlike other schema types, this is listed under “local business”.  So if you’re a national or international brand that does not have a retail footprint, you’re out of luck for now.  But don’t count this library out.  Google also recently launched variant schema for sizes, colors, etc…  If both variant schema and carousel schema are combined, and you consider their current need to compete on AI and rich results as well as with Amazon and TikTok shops, we’re in for a fantastic ride of traffic and revenue with this new interactive shopping and conversion feature.

In the future we could potentially see availability of products with sizes, colors, and fits for retailers at locations and current availability.  This would combine merchant center data with organic rankings.  Someone looking for bottomless mimosas at brunch on Dayton that loves oysters, or a person in Duluth who wants to find a steakhouse that has a wine menu and raw bar, this may help.  You could feed these variants in as a publisher or restaurant and get the rich result.  Are you a big box retailer?  Why not try your local stores with the categories or subcategories within a category.   And if you notice the examples shows ratings with numbers and $$ amount, this is aimed at retailers in my opinion.

And real estate agents could show listings for single family homes with pools in New Orleans, while parenting blogs can feature the best restaurants with kids eat free nights on Tuesday in Minneapolis.

Search engines like Google rely on us to give them accurate and up-to-date data.  If you’re the one providing it in these easy-to-use formats, and your content quality is high, you may now beat the big brands and take the space.  Afterall you know your menus if you’re a restaurant, and you know the area if you’re a local blogger.

I’d like to point out again that Google intends on competing with TikTok and other “influencer” platforms, Amazon and eBay for shopping, and Expedia or AirBnB for travel bookings.  This is likely why they have perspectives and are surfacing “hidden gems”.  This carousel may be a part of it and your time to shine as a content creator.  You have the original content and experiences which is part of E-E-A-T.  If this schema beta test works out, it is your opportunity to gain and grow.

Until the carousel leaves beta we won’t know exactly how it will show, what it will do, or how it will develop.  While it is in beta we can try to populate them in live search results.  Here’s five ways I’d like to try and do it.  If you’re in one of these niches, I’m happy to try and help you do it to see if it works (depending on time and availability).

I’m going to list a ton of niches, business types, bloggers, etc… below in no particular order.  These are just ideas I have on how to try and populate them.  There should be something for everyone here.

Photography

Photography could be a photographer that shoots events like weddings or conferences, a photography studio that takes clients on site, photobooth providers, workshops and photo walks, product and corporate photographers, or a professional that offers combinations of the above.

The items could be combinations of:

  • Services offered (product, headshots, custom art)
  • The types of photobooths you can rent and the costs
  • Types of photography (boudoir, family, weddings)
  • Options to engage with the artist (Workshops, buy prints, hire for services)

There’s really no shortage of options because they opened this up for generic and general schemas and definitions.  Until it leaves beta we have the opportunity to test and try to populate a carousel.

Content Creators

In the examples on Google’s site they shared the top 5 restaurants in Italy.  Outside of me being an Italian food addict and loving their example, this is the massive opportunity niche sites, bloggers, and content creators have been waiting for.  Your opportunities are endless here.  You have original photography, experiences engaging with options in real life, and expertise on what it was like there.

Please note Google did not do local in their example, they did the entire country of Italy vs. Venice or Milan.  That could be a mistake on their part, or it could be a hint that they’re going to expand this carousel in the future.

With Google highlighting the top five restaurants, think about how you can modify this to your niche.

  • Family friendly establishments or who offer “kids eat free” options
  • For LGBTQ+ couples to honeymoon, Disney vacations, bachelorettes to party in Vegas, etc…
  • First dinner dates in Albany, best divorce attorneys in Sacramento, things to do in Kansas City
  • Cruises for people in wheelchairs, casinos with prime rib on their buffets, top vacation rentals within 3 minutes from a beach
  • Trucks that serve tacos until 3am, have Cadillac margaritas in Wrigleyville, serve crunch tuna rolls and other maki near Times Square
  • Theatres with sensory nights, restaurants with Tito’s vodka in New Mexico, stores with plus size swimsuits in Miami

You as a content creator have the experience to talk about the taste, experience, and availability in a way that is not controlled by the companies.  That gives you the opportunity to be “trustworthy” and share original content including text, images, and hopefully video in the future.  It’s your opportunity to own a substantial amount of space in the SERPs.

Rentals

Rentals for this example are hotels, entrepreneurs with multiple rental properties, and other types of people with living spaces that are available temporarily.  The test here is to try showing carousels for locals looking for somewhere to live short and long term, visitors looking to be a tourist for a set time frame, as well show room types available for potential guests so they can get find the right room type faster than having to use a sitelink.

With a hotel, someone normally needs to find a sitelink for a suite or room with two double beds, or to click from multiple links via navigational elements.  The carousel lets you as a business owner or a content producer like a travel blogger share room types available (bloggers have access to room availability through affiliate datafeeds).  Google can now show relevant results and options with an interactive experience, and at a hyper-local level by rewarding content creators, local businesses, and entrepreneurs renting properties.  It’s a way to gain an advantage to companies like Expedia and Hilton.

Services

This one is banking on Google keeping the library alive, growing the options, and companies/ITs/SEOs not abusing it.  There is a chance that you can show services available by area type, price, etc…  By combining Google Business Profile data with offerings in zip codes or “area served” and a few other factors.

If someone would type “internet and cable providers in Atlanta” you could feature a carousel of package options including channels, speeds, fiber vs. cable, etc… If they really want to advance this and get enough data, they could help a consumer find amazing options.  If you’re a big brand provider, count yourself somewhat unlucky.  Yes, you can provide this information accurately, but a local or national review site can be more trustworthy (assuming they aren’t pay-to-play).

Having an actual list with accurate data from the big companies by being an affiliate or content creator lets you give consumers “unbiased” options with the packages including combining multiple service providers like Comcast, Cox, DirectTV, Sling, etc… and by connector type including modem, cable, fiber, or satellite.

Think about Med Spas, people could be looking for IV hangover recovery, Botox, or CoolSculpting.  You could define in the carousel what service you offer and at the price points with customer ratings as a trust builder.

And for IT providers, why not do computer repair, corporate printer repair, coding, and other needs.  Janitorial could include window washing, trash removal, etc…  The library says to define the different services, so list your top five in demand by area.  There’s no shortage of tests you can try to populate a carousel.

Retailers

I kind of already shared this above, but here’s a few possible options.

  • Locations in a city (as long as you have at least five)
  • The products with sizes and variations
  • Categories of products you sell, or a specific category and their subcategories like “shirts” with t-shirts, dress shirts, undershirts, graphic tees, and baseball.

Events

Google already has events schema, and in their description of the carousel schema they mention events specifically.  Do you cover local events, create a list of what is coming up.  You could go by niche, in general for a weekend, or any variation.  It’s one of the most interesting ones because you can combine your own, and monetize on your site via affiliate links for event tickets and accessories for the events.

If you can’t tell I’m excited to see what happens in the beta version, and even more if it makes it live and they add onto it.  I hope you enjoyed this post and if you did, subscribe to my newsletter for more below.  I’m going to try and blog at least once a month this year.