Many searches have been triggering new brand / entity carousels in the search results recently. They are similar to the types of carousels you see for things like “2016 movies”, but they are for “best” or “top” searches, such as best software or best tools.
Here is what it looks like:
So of course the question has come up about how to rank in one of the first positions in these types of carousels. And the question came up on Twitter today, with John Mueller from Google responding.
He confirmed that the algo that chooses these items and the order is not the regular search algo. So your positioning in the organic search results won’t mean you rank in that position in the carousel.
@VishMarathe411 It's a different algorithm.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) February 16, 2017
Looking at a few examples, it doesn’t seem to be tied to either the organic (or paid) search results, nor is it related to any similar lists on Wikipedia. Norr does it seem to be pulled from the results. For example, the first result is an affiliate site featuring different word processing products, which ranks WordPerfect in the #2 spot, which doesn’t show until position 10 in the carousel. For reference, while WordPerfect once dominated the market, it now has a tiny market share, primarily in the legal field.
What they do have in common, however, is they all appear to have knowledge panels for the individual product or company brand. And you can see this when you click through any of the carousel results.
Unfortunately, Mueller did not reveal any more details about what algo is used or how they are ranked.
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