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Remarkable Change In Google Serps


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#1 bwelford

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 11:38 AM

I was somewhat surprised to see the following Google keyword search result that a visitor to my blog had used to get there.

montrealbagelgoogle080405.png

Note that references to the blog appear at both #2 and #4. Normally a second result from the same domain will appear as an indented result under the first appearance. This is what I sometimes see at Yahoo! but never at Google. I have not changed any of my preferences. Has anyone else seen this surprising change?

Note also that the snippet at #2 included the date of the blog post as the first part of the snippet. The snippet at #4, which is a post from the same blog, does not have the date as the first part of the snippet. We live in curious times.

#2 EGOL

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 12:49 PM

Wow! That is a huge change. I just checked a few of the terms that I hold positions #1 and #2 for.... I am still seeing the old indented method. I hope that the old method stays because I have a lot of #1/#2 SERPs... a lot of my current traffic and brand recognition will be diminished.

#3 iamlost

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 01:31 PM

Interesting, Barry.

I took your apparent query terms and ran (it's a script thing) them quoted and unquoted, in various order, through various datacentres, g.com and G.ca, 'the web' and 'from canada' and got a terrific variation of local, universal, and other mashups in subtlely shifting order.

However, when both of your pages showed up on the same page (default 10) they were always indented.

Questions:
1. were you signed in or out of G?
2. what number of results is your page set for?
3. what are your thoughts?

I agree with EGOL - I like the indent. It catches eyes and clicks.

#4 bwelford

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 01:46 PM

I was logged in to my account but used this search that my visitor had done. I am set to 100 items as my default.

When I repeat the search this morning, I come up with indented results for that SERP now. Perhaps someone at the GooglePlex was fooling around on a Saturday night.

#5 SEOigloo

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 02:34 PM

Looks like some fiddling around to me, Barry. Neat screenshot!

I wonder if this may be something we might see in the future...though I can't guess what the benefit to the user would be to have this broken up instead of indented.

Miriam

#6 bobbb

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 05:44 PM

Off topic! Fairmout Bagels are indeed the best.

Do you miss them bwelford?

#7 bwelford

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 08:18 PM

I certainly do, Bob. Nothing better than a Fairmount Bagel (or two) hot out of their oven as you walk down the Main.

#8 bwelford

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 12:32 AM

Here's what another visitor to one of my blogs saw this evening when they searched for 'british pensions for canadians' using Google.

googlesearch080407.png

Perhaps Google is seriously considering showing several items from the same domain just like Yahoo!

#9 earlpearl

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 03:03 PM

.....and two weekends ago I bugged the heck out of a friend suggesting if he liked certain bagels in northern va then he had to try a different place.....and after all is said and done he should cross the river to maryland and try some bagels in bethesda or silver spring.

#10 bwelford

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 10:28 AM

I'm still surprised that I'm the only one to have spotted this. It's now happened twice three days apart. When I redo the searches on subsequent days, the format has gone back to the regular format.

I can't imagine that I'm the only one to have run into such displays. It requires a blog where the same topic can come up in several posts. Has anyone else seen this in any Google searches they have done?

#11 iamlost

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 10:38 AM

Barry, you are just special. :)

Are those just crows or real black helicopters circling your house? :ph34r:

#12 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 10:48 AM

I saw 3 by 3 by 4 groupings yesterday.
There was a Header Rule seperating them.

Rather novel.

Note happening today though.

#13 bwelford

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 12:22 PM

Actually, iamlost, the most interesting birds circling high over the house are 'eggshell blonde' eagles. Since their main diet is fish, perhaps that could be a sign of something untoward.

#14 EGOL

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 05:54 PM

Wow....

I am seeing entirely different SERPs.

No indents on the second listing per domain.

Big blocks of books and music slapped in below #3.

Ugly image results slapped in below #3.

Shopping results slapped in at #3

News results slapped in at #3

Widgets above the SERPs

Adsense per usual.

These SERPs are stinking. Eyeflow is really disrupted with all of the injected stuff at #3.

If this sticks you MUST get into the top three to make any money.

#15 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 06:12 PM

I'm begging to think that certain "positions" on the front page aren't "true" now adays.
I'm seeing some fairly inconsistent results... and cannot help but think G is attempting to alter the returned resutls and place certain thigns their to be "fair" or "different".

In some cases I can check every hour... and see different things in some positions... whilst top items and last items remain the same.

The maps thing is damend annoying too... to much realestate gone and damnd distracting to boot!


Wonder what the results are that G are getting back?

#16 earlpearl

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 06:23 PM

EGOL:

For some time google has yanked around the look of its serps, in so far as local results have been displayed.

They have alternatively (and at times changed the look of serps within a week)

Had an authorititative one box map of a business at the top of serps
Had a map with 3 businesses at the top of serps
Had a map with 10 alternative businesses at the top of the serps

Put the map at the top of the page or below the third result.

Interspaced something called the plusbox....which opens into a map.

Not had any maps at all.

All of these looks might have showed up in the course of a week for the same search term (or maybe two different page looks).

At various times google has signifigantly played and adjusted the appearance of a page with its different elements of universal search.

I'm sure much of it is testing to determine visitor click patterns.

If its really miserable and/or adversely effects your own click throughs....I'd start screaming all over the place. Just recently, after months of complaining in google groups for business owners and public sources which catches google's eyes....they started eliminating one of these many changes in local. Specifically they have been quietly removing erroneous plusbox information.

In any case I'd wait out the appearance of a page for certain serps.....or I'd start screaming bloody murder if its negatively impacting your clicks and try and make a case why it should stink for everyone.

#17 EGOL

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 07:20 PM

You are probably right, that they are watching visitor behavior.

They are going to do what they think is best for their users and for Google. That's what I do on my sites.

I will probably not complain if I don't like what they settle on. I'll do what I can to make my own sites succeed as well and they can. There are advantages in everything.

I have people write to me a lot saying... you should do it this way, you should do it that way... I read each of them, but most get deleted because they don't understand what the goals are for the site - either in terms of what I think the important visitors want from the site or what I want from it.

This will be interesting. It seems that they have been working your SERPs for a while. This just arrived big time in mine.

#18 earlpearl

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 08:39 PM

Over the last year there has been an extraordinary amt of change with regard to presentation of some of the elements of universal search as it is shown for local type queries.....like dog walking service Philadelphia....and myriads of local searches.

All of it was done without necessarily changing the base rankings of sites within the serps.

Google has commented that they are reviewing the click through behavior.

In one case, a problem with erroneous address information showing in one or two elements of universal search maps inserted into the organic searches.....just in the last 3 weeks google has been quietly eliminating erroneous data. That has only come after many months of many complaints.

In fact Bill did a masterful review at seo by the sea of potential elements that might be creating the erroneous data.

Its interesting to watch.....unless it adversely affects visitor responses to your website. If the latter occurs....then it is MISERABLE!!!!!!

#19 projectphp

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 08:34 PM

Why do your results have numbers? Are you using some FF extension or something?

#20 EGOL

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 08:36 PM

No numbers..... #3 means the third organic result.

#21 bwelford

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 09:53 PM

Michael, I'm using the Firefox Extension, CustomizeGoogle 0.71. It adds numbers and has a number of other useful functions.

#22 bwelford

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:36 AM

Picking up the main theme here, I am routinely checking to see whether this type of display reappears. It never has for me. One of the commenters at Sphinn on this topic did say they had seen it in Google from time to time.

Doing the same keyword searches in Yahoo, the two separate blog posts in each case appear separately in the list. I personally find that more useful to me in terms of relevance. That's me speaking as a searcher.

As a web master, it is nice to get the extra visibility that Google gives. A first webpage followed by a second indented web page is just a lot of real estate to make my website more search invisible. That's just great for me.

Perhaps Google in getting feedback from web masters thinks it's grouped display is preferable. Unless they did some pretty subtle testing with users, they're unlikely to spot that Yahoo! may be delivering greater relevance by showing webpages individually.

Does anyone agree with me that Yahoo's display of individual results provides more relevancy than Google's grouped display?



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