Carousels are bad for SEO.
The lack of content means that it’s difficult to get meta information into a page. This is especially true as Google no longer crawls meta keywords (although Bing does) and so will take keyword information from the page.
Of course, you can have the word count below the carousel, in the body of the page. Most sliders though contain headers that are wrapped in H1, and these change when the slider does and as such, devalue keywords within them.
Rotating banners are absolutely evil and should be removed immediately.
Jakob Nielsen (yes, the usability guru) confirms this in tests. They ran a usability study where they gave users the following task: “Does Siemens have any special deals on washing machines?”. The information was on the most prominent slide. The users could not see it – totally hit by banner blindness. Nielsen concludes the sliders are ignored.
Notre Dame university tested it too. Only the first slide got some action (1%!), other slides hardly got clicked on at all. 1% of clicks for something that takes up (more than) half the page?
Reason #1: Human Eye Reacts To Movement (and will miss the important stuff)Our brains have 3 layers, the oldest part is the one we share even with reptiles. It’s mostly concerned about survival. A sudden change on the horizon could be a matter of life and death. Hence human eye reacts to movement – including constantly moving image sliders and carousels.
Reason #2: Too Many Messages Equals No MessageImage sliders get hit by banner blindness and most people won’t even pay attention to them, but even those who do can’t really get the messages.
Visitor lands on your site. Sees a message on the slider – and starts reading it. “This fall you get to …” Bam! Gone. Often the sliders are so fast that people are not even able to finish reading them (even if they want to).
Focusing on a single primary message and action is way always far more effective
Reason #3: Banner BlindnessThey look like banners and people just skip over them.