I thought I'd kick this thread back up for a number of reasons... and I'll mention up front that the results we used as an example at the start have apparently changed....
It was discussed at PubCon last week that Google has been returning "hyperlocal results", and I remembered that this discussion, from back in August, seemed to provide a good example of that.
For the [cd tower] search mentioned here, the appearance of target.com in the organic results was extremely sensitive to my browser's location setting. As I mentioned in my first Aug 26 post earlier in the thread (msg #4355652), when I shifted my default Location setting several miles closer to a Target store, target.com appeared in the #2 organic position, and with the bullet point results. Other members around the country (apparently near enough to Target stores) reported the same result in the #2 position, also with the bullet points. As noted, I also saw the bullet points in the AdWords ad.
When I've come to check this now, I'm not seeing bullet points in any organic results. I'm not seeing the target.com result in organic #2, whatever my Location setting is... and this is across browsers, cookies flushed, history off, etc. Instead, I'm seeing a target.com result consistently in the #9 spot, and that appears to be independent of location setting. Also, in the target.com organic result, there's one listing only... ie, no bullet points. (In the AdWords ad, they offer additional images as an option).
I mention all this because I've felt that all those extra organic results we've been seeing, the multiple results and the Local listings, including those with Place flags, have been part of ongoing tests, changing with each iteration of Panda (or whatever else it is that Google might be testing).
Since we've got a search term that has worked well in illustrating this behavior... and since we generally don't discuss search terms... this is a chance to check in and report what we're seeing now.
- Is anyone else currently seeing bullet points?
- Is anyone seeing target.com in a different spot?
Is it possible that Google users didn't like the bullet points enough for Google to continue showing them, or is it possible that Google has extracted a view of data from that perspective, and is now checking into something else?
Ditto with the hyper-localization... Google seems to have backed off from that on some searches. I'll go into further detail on that in another discussion. There are so many manifestations of how Google is viewing the results that it's hard to get a unified handle on it.