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Google's Indented Results

Anyone else think those indented repeats are pointless?



2:11 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Why does Google present supplemental results in the serps? You know- when 2 pages of the same site show up following one another? Wouldn't searchers be far better served by a variety of single links to unique sites? Isn't this so evident to anyone, a complete no-brainer?

...and mind you, I'm often in positions 1 + 2 for many of my keywords, so I'd be the first to lose if they took it away; I'm not motivated by self-interest here. The serps are cluttered with zillions of repetitive same-site results.

Certainly we're all savvy enough to navigate any site once we get there. Google's job is to let us know which sites exist, and lead us to a single starting point for each. They don't have to point out every freaking page of each site (I'm exaggerating for effect, but anyway) it's so utterly pointless and such a terrible waste of ranking positions, which should be as precious to Google as they are to everyone else who uses or benefits from them.

michael heraghty

2:37 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Interesting point. I'm inclined to agree with you now that I've thought about it. I don't feel they add any value.


2:49 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I find myself using the second link often enough to know that they definately have a use! They may not be so important for product related searches, but for information searches I'd have to vote for them to stay.


2:56 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If it is yours and you have 1 & 2 (second being indent) there's only 8 more snapping at your ankles.

If you are below that position, you've been robbed of number two position.


3:12 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

In my experience unless you show the average user an exact path to the information they seek, they are extremely good at failing to find it.

Google may agree with this, and in trying to provide a more user friendly service, they helpfully list two relevant pages if they can.

Recently I have noticed that people searching will read the snippets more carefully. This may have developed from the experience of clicking sites and then not being able to find information because of complicated navigation or they have visited a site only to find (after waiting ages for the page to load) that it is not quite relevant. To avoid this they tend to scroll down the results until they see the exact snippet or title they are looking for, in the knowledge that this site is probably applicable for their quest and will be worth the wait to load.

Accordingly, I suspect the average user now takes more time to analyse results and will often scroll further down to find a relevant site, seeking exact matches to their search term.

I wonder if the time has come whereby a more user friendly title/snippet which may not rank as well is in fact a better strategy which will provide higher quality visitors? The percentage of people just blindly clicking the top results may be diminishing, with lower ranking sites picking up more traffic if their title/snippet is more appealing.

Google users may be becoming more discerning and spending more time examining google results.


3:30 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Equally the scroll down factor has a lot to do with it. Rather than looking at a fixed quantity of links, like the cyber-myth 100 limit, success may be more likely from those that fit comfortably within the full screen size (ish).

Kaushal Kurapati

10:53 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is the Ask Jeeves perspective on indenting results. In general indenting of results is done to eliminate clutter on SERPs and have as many results as possible from distinct sites. The reason to include more than 1 link in the SERP is to indicate to the user that there are multiple, highly relevant pages from the same site for the information requested. So, instead of cluttering the SERP with link after link from the same domain, 'domain collapse' serves to indicate that to the user while still maintaining good site diversity in the SERP.

However, some users still seem to be confused about what indenting means when they see it in the results. This is mainly due to seemingly inconsistent behavior of this feature: some times results from same site are collapsed and some times not. Results are usually collapsed when they are from the same site and appear in succession. Despite the user confusion regarding this feature, we have adopted this convention, along with many other engines. We believe this provides a cleaner SERP and hence a better overall navigational experience to the user.



11:08 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

1) I like the indented results.

2A) Welcome Kaushal Kurapati - it's good to have an Ask Jeeves / Teoma representative in these forums.
Now ... I have a few more questions about Google .... :))

2B) I vote for Teoma as a far more relevant SE than the present MSN Search.


11:23 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sorry to disagree, but I still think the serps would be much better if Google showed multiple single sites.

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