This is apparently a big deal for Google - because there have been other significant iterations that did not get any official announcement. So either this is a big deal, or they've decided to make more announcements, keeping webmasters more officially informed. Since we tend to think "the sky is falling" when we're not informed, this might even be a kind of proactive damage control.
The first change beyond two results per domain was last August:
Google Announcment [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]
Our Discussion [webmasterworld.com]
So now I'm wondering what additional criteria have been folded in that can trigger multiple results.
Is it just that some queries have navigational intent that is somewhat ambiguous, so two sites can now get four results?
this is a bit concerning to me. i have seen google sometimes rewarding websites for generic terms. imagine if google does not focus this change on navigation terms but applies it to very generic terms. theoretically ibm and dell could combine to control generic computer keyword serps. i dont think anyone wants that including google.
on the pro-google side, there have been times i searched for information that is on very few websites. in that case it would make great sense and would have saved me much aggravation to show many results from a site.
i am very curious as to what will and will not trigger these serps from google. time to do some tests & research :)
|which have already been showing as high as six per domain. |
I had nine. The tenth was another site but my content.
Maybe this is another step in Google's on-going effort to squeeze out smaller sites.
I think it's more likely to be real data about user intention that's fueling this change. Honestly, if my site doesn't get well-targeted traffic from showing up in a SERP, then I'm happy not to get that impression at all, and save the bandwith. I think it is the user Google is focused on in this case.
this can actually help smaller sites that are authoritative for their niche. i think i am a small operation. i am certainly not a fortune 500. some of my sites are already triggering this and getting extra space on the serps :)
i think there is an actionable take away from this announcement. it is to build out more quality content for areas that you want to be the authority. google is not blindly forcing their serps to have 10 different websites if they think your website is a honeypot full of information that can help the user.
i cant complain... cause my traffic increased for my #1 keyword. Now the first three results link to my site for a specific keyword which generates 80% of my traffic.
its interesting that results show from my archive and taxonomy : drupal based website: i.e.
I agree. I haven't seen as many as 9 but I've seen 8 with the other 2 rounded out by pages I control.
About a year ago, Google did run a test of multiple results that were most likely a precursor to these... and I'm suspecting they were triggered by less sophisticated testing methods than what we're now seeing in action. To sum up a range of discussion, at the time we saw these as tests of [site:domain keyword] type searches.
New multiple indented listings with meta descriptions on some searches
Sep 30, 2009
How to get 5 additional collapsed Listing in SERPs?
Oct 11, 2009
As I'd mentioned in one of these earlier discussions, "Google announces the features that stick", so I think that the feature is now here to stay in some form, perhaps to be modified over time.
I believe I have been recently seeing ongoing tests continuing with these results... in particular that the choice of additional pages seems to be rotating over time. Changing browsers, flushing cookies, pausing web history, signing in or out, etc, doesn't seem immediately to affect the choices I see returned in the serp for a query. From previous tests I've run, I'm suspecting that once a page gets in the queue, it stays there for a cycle of testing.
I unfortunately don't have access to the traffic data of the site on which I'm observing these changes, but I'm guessing that Google's goal here is to return the pages that attract the most productive traffic for certain types of searches... and that most likely this data is personalized.
Disabling personalization does affect which choices I'm given in Instant Autocomplete (aka Suggest)... or at least it does at the moment... and this may eventually affect what multiple pages appear. I think Google would like users to stay signed in because that gives them a set of reference behaviors to work with and ultimately to customize results.
|in particular that the choice of additional pages seems to be rotating over time. |
This is interesting - what it seems to me is that Google almost "allocates" how many additional entries will give to your site (on whatever criteria), so this is completely different than "indented entry" listing from before which just "joined up" entries from the same site that rank on the same SERPs page.
This case may quantify the above:
Our client is #3 on their main keyword. Positions #1 and #2 were taken by competitor's exact match domain, with competitor's #2 page being word for word copy of the text from our client's 3-year old (printed) brochure.
Three weeks ago the client has asked the competitor to remove copyrighted text and in all fairness the competitor reacted immediately and removed the page from their site so that the URL that was ranking #2 now gives 404.
Few days after removal we noticed that Google has replaced SERP position #2 with a different URL from competitor's site. Noticing that, we had a look at the competitor's site to see if there were any redirects or internal linking changes done from 404 link to the URL that now ranks as #2, but the removed URL was still interlinked on their site, giving 404 when clicked.
I have to admit that we did not expect is that #2 will straight away be replaced with another page from competitor's site.
This went into effect and on that day our bounce rate dropped again and we had our best order day of the fall today. Traffic went steadily up.
It's really hard to gauge the effect with personalized results but it seems to work for our customers.
I have a competitor site that appears in the top four spots when searched for a certain location of the country! This is not an informative way of displaying results when a customer is looking to buy something, especially when three of the links are blog pages!
Pudders looking today we dominate several keywords. The other 3 listings have nothing to do with the first. It's about as close as saying searcher A once bought a kiwi fruit and a car, so he must want a kiwi fruit mention and car from us and they dig deep to find it. In a bundle of kws it's that far off. Think searching for a particular sensor for a production line, getting that as first and then an airplane wing load tester as #2 and a blog post about the damaged a380 as #3 all from our site.
They are trying to do their own "you may also like" which IMO they are years away from having enough data. It's really unfair to our competitors who took a bath Thursday and Friday. Just because someone once bought a black widget that doesn't mean they ever want to buy one again.
This numbers thing can only go so far. We aren't robots, by nature we are erratic. Google seems to think they can break us down to 0 and 1s and will fail in trying to shape our behavior. Although we benefited financially from this change I don't like it.
All of these changes will give rise to twitter facebook, linkedin etc where WE tell the
About our interests through our friends, intersets etc. Where google assumes we have an interest because we searched on something a few times while my long lost aunt Sally was here the others know from deliberate acts.
In the instances I see this happening I can see no meaningful relation between the 3-4 but it will be useful for seo as it tells is what google thinks is relevant.
I like it financially, seems poorly executed or doesn't have enough data yet in our niche. More change for changes sake.
|I have to admit that we did not expect is that #2 will straight away be replaced with another page from competitor's site. |
Once google decided to give a site multiple listings, another site cannot replace any position in those listings
|More change for changes sake. |
nope...I don't think so.Google wants to achieve something through every change (they always have an unstated objective for themselves, behind every product and every change) and this is probably helping them
|Once google decided to give a site multiple listings, another site cannot replace any position in those listings |
Since one page from a site will immediately be replaced by a different page from the same site, can we interpret this as meaning that SITE AUTHORITY (as opposed to individual page rank for internal pages) might play an increasing role in the SERPs display?
Or can it be interpreted that the internal flow of page rank is "flatter" so that many pages have near identical page rank, and thus it is easier for google to pick a suitable replacement page?
Or is my thinking off course here?
Something like that - but only for certain types of queries. This is, as they say, a very "nuanced" change.
However, site authority has already been strengthened quite a bit this year. Some have taken it to be a "brand" boost, but authority is probably a more accurate word.
Indyrank if by helping them you mean forcing us to use more adwords I agree. For those that don't like "the chosen one" that gets the top 4 they must look down the page exposing themselves to more adwords and other future google paid features.
I've type in "buy xyz" type searches and get sites 1-4 that have no ecommerce capabilities and that tell me to contact a local seller which only puts me back in google generating more adwords impressions.
I just don't get this move to similar items. That's what stores do on their site. I think this one as it is now fails. I like the idea but I don't like the elimination of choice.
"Some have taken it to be a "brand" boost, but authority is probably a more accurate word."
Well, there's the rub, I guess. What exactly is authority?
Classically, it means a site that a lot of other strong sites in the niche link to. Today, I think that's expanded to include REAL social media mentions. I'd also bet that navigational searches mean a whole lot.
But what is Google's "exact" formula today? I'm not in the loop on that, so I'm puzzling it out with everyone else.
|Since one page from a site will immediately be replaced by a different page from the same site, can we interpret this as meaning that SITE AUTHORITY (as opposed to individual page rank for internal pages) might play an increasing role in the SERPs display? |
This is my understanding of authority or brand boost or whatever you may call it.
Each site has an authority for a topic or set of topics based on the number of pages they have on that topic and the votes those pages receive.Sites ranking on top, usually have a group of pages on that topic and when there are several well ranked pages, google displays them as a list.
Indyrank if by helping them you mean forcing us to use more adwords I agree
Whenever google does something I never look at it as something that it does only for adwords. Every free product of theirs have a few unstated objectives behind them and these need not always be to boost or influence theirs adwords directly.
Another way I sometimes analyze a site is to do the search [site:example.com keyword]. That number seems to have a good correlation with authority on a given topic. I'll bet it helps a site get multiple listings, too.
I've just seen a variation I've not seen before. For a single word search... on page one, just one result from a site, and then on page two I'm seeing two adjacent results from the same site plus an expansion (+) link for more results (ie, pages) from the site. Yesterday, the same three results were 1,2, & 3 on page one.
Other multiple results from the same site for several two word searches are the same today as yesterday.
The shift I'd noted earlier for this site could be interpreted as switching between an informational page and a marketing page.
This chopped about 30% off our searches as it rolled in. All our competitors too.
The #1 supplier we all deal with has traffic through the roof but an 83% bounce rate since late Wednesday up over 20% in a week. They don't use GA.
Everyone talks about quality but google will never understand the damage they are doing because 50% of all large b2b sales are offline anyway if not more. People aren't going to order 75k in widgets online, google sees that bounce as bad quality probably.
They are really forcing everyone into a box. We can up our spending to 2k a day on adwords but we'd probably get the same return from scratch tickets.
I was keeping a track of the change from past couple of days in my niche and I noticed two main things:
1. No horizontal site-links can be seen (atleast in the space I watch) where earlier they were present.
2. Below the 4th link more results option is displayed that can be expanded (+). However, once I expand to see more result Google is displaying 3 additional results which are repetition of the already listed 4 results above. Is this in benefit of the USER?
horizontal sitelinks was a great idea, but somehow google never likes good things like that these days...
if they had resorted to horizontal sitelinks, instead of four positions at the top, it would have made more sense for the user as he get to see more results. Ideally, the remaining 3 positions should have been the horizontal sitelinks for #1.
So now I'm wondering what additional criteria have been folded in that can trigger multiple results.
From my observations its specialisms
A site that specialises in copper widgets and a query for the same, will have links to gold copper widgets, bronze copper widgets, green copper widgets.
Actually its a bit deeper into the lontail query of "widgets" than the above implies.
|because 50% of all large b2b sales are offline anyway if not more |
Obviously I do not have the stats for this and I wonder if any actually exist however in our trade widget case 100% of our sales are offline and I believe that is very similar with most of our competitors worldwide since it is simply not practical to do so because we produce almost everything to order, we do not produce for our own stock to sell online.
Another crucial factor when trading internationally is payment, we ship nothing without a guaranteed form of payment and not many people have credit or debit cards with USD 1 million facilities.
|Another way I sometimes analyze a site is to do the search [site:example.com keyword]. That number seems to have a good correlation with authority on a given topic. I'll bet it helps a site get multiple listings, too. |
This is what I'm seeing too. The B2B site that I relaunched in September is now showing up to four top results per SERP for more and more of our important brand and product search strings. This site most definitely does NOT have a lot of quality inbound links (I'm working on that now) about all it has going for it is its authority in its niche (ok, and maybe some of the work I put into it getting it ready for relaunch)
Have a couple other clients with the same sort of thing, although not as clearly as the first. Wondering what it will do with some of my sites when the seasons roll around.
For me (and my clients) it's been a pretty positive change.
I see this too, real damage for those alternative product websites attempting gain some traffic from piggybacking trademark brand terms and claiming to have cheaper prices but essentially the same product.
Let's chalk this one up as a win for the big brand.
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