Google increases carousels as a SERP feature

I noticed earlier in the week that there was an unusual amount of video carousels appearing in Google’s SERPs. Looking at the screenshot from Rank Ranger above, it became very clear to me that a big shift had occurred. More than double the amount of carousels are being recorded within Google’s SERPs.

Glenn Gabe noticed the change as well and shared an update on his Twitter account. One of the interesting aspects of the change is that it’s now showing prominently for searches for peoples names on both Desktop and Mobile – which rarely happens.

Using the SEMrush Sensor tool, we can see that the impact is apparent across both devices, although perhaps more sharply on Desktop:

Desktop Carousel

Desktop Carousel SEMrush

Mobile Carousel

Mobile Carousel SEMrush

Interestingly, while there has been a steady increase in Carousels, the amount of Video thumbnails within SERPs have fallen off a cliff for Desktop. Here’s what the visualisation based on this same source looks like:

Desktop Videos on SERPs

Desktop Videos SERPs

Mobile Videos on SERPs

Mobile Videos SERPs

It seems as though the Carousels on both Desktop and Mobile have replaced a decent amount of Desktop video thumbnails (with Mobile video thumbnails remaining virtually unchanged).

This change presents a great opportunity for video publishers in particular. For instance, if I were to search for someone’s name (Dr. Pete Meyers for example) here’s what the new results look like:

dr pete video carousel

And it’s not just people searches that this is showing for, even company brand searches have a strong video carousel presence:

stone template consulting

While the video carousel displays prominently on the first page of Google, it doesn’t seem to be solely driven by freshness of content. Whereas a top stories carousel will generally show content published that is fairly recent (makes sense).

A great point made by Mark Traphagen on Twitter is that the videos only seem to show if there’s an exact match up among the search term and the video title.

My recommendation would be to test out some different queries on Google to see if your video carousel is available. If you have videos on YouTube or Vimeo, even if published under your own account or externally, then it’s likely that this feature will be appearing for you.

I’m a big fan of this update with respect to brightening up the search results, although will be doing some testing to see exactly how the algorithm works for placement. An interesting space to watch.