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Google testing Plus and Minus sign to expand/contract site results

A plus sign opens up a search box.

     
9:39 pm on Jun 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Could be old news but I have never seen this befor. Has anyone else seen this new feature in Google; regular looking results but some sites have a + sign next to the site title and if you click it a search box appears under the snippet and url of that site. Enter a key word and the results you then get are a little like the site command but arranged toward your search term.

Is this thing coming or going, and why do some sites have this feature and not others?

2:13 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Randle
I haven't found any search terms to show the [+] [-] boxes. can you give an example of the search term you used?
2:21 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I just tried a few searches and didn't see any + or -. Maybe it's only for certain results or in Beta?
3:18 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This has actually been in testing for about 2 months now... It is the start of the end in what I call "Google containing traffic, not passing it on"

They eventually aim to allow many search questions to be answered without leaving their engine.

For example a search of "Capital of Florida" would allow you to see the snipits of info on the sites listed to 'answer' your question without actually having to leave Google to read the 'answer'.

3:22 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Doesn't matter what you search for, hotels, insurance, ect it comes up, its not search term related I don't think. Seeing it a lot this morning. I tried pinging for the data center but I get different IP's and it does not bring it back up when I get to google via that IP.

I wonder why some sites have the feature and others do not.

[edited by: tedster at 5:15 pm (utc) on June 14, 2006]

8:32 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So, I'm hypothesizing maybe you get to see testing stuff like this because you use the Gool toolbar?

Anyhow, it looks good to me. I guess those are complete metadescription tags providing the expanded content? If so, that's good I guess. That's what they're for as opposed to the way Google currently describes your site under the title (with snippets from your site content or even dmoz's outdated listings, I've seen).

On one side, I guess this is going to cause a lot of webmasters to have to explain decreases in traffic but, on the other side, will benefit us by giving us only stats made by "real" visitors (well, and robots, I guess).

[edited by: tedster at 5:14 pm (utc) on June 14, 2006]

9:10 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Looks like one more way to judge a user's interest in results. That could generate some useful data.
9:30 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thereís quite a few interesting features to it when you click the plus sign. One I really like is you get an array of links, under the snippet, shown as relevant search terms, to inner pages of the site; how do they determine these, and then display them?

On some sites you get a dramatic increase in the snippet, (some you donít). And the search bar will basically run a site command and then order the results based upon what they think are the most relevant pages for your search term. Donít know why I see it so much, maybe it is the tool bar which I have.

11:37 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Isn't this an extension of that new technology from the Austrialan university student?
2:07 am on June 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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aaaah, I'm not seeing it. They must not want to show it to us Canadians yet.

What info are they using for their blurb? Would it be possible to cloak my stuff so their blurb reads "don't read stolen content on Google. Come to my site instead."

i'm guessing that would never work... but it's a nice fancy

4:18 pm on June 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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ahh! spooky, not getting this from the UK,

what IP were you hitting to get these results randle?

This is either going to help draw people in with some good copywriting or people will get the info without ever going on the site :s

4:52 pm on June 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Iím not an IP expert, but if I hover over the ďcacheĒ link I get 72.14.203.104

However if I try and go to that IP I donít see the new feature. If I ping Google where Iím at I get 72.14.203.99 but if I go there direct I donít see it there either; go figure, it just sort of comes and goes when it wants.

One really interesting aspect of it I noticed today is when you click the plus sign, the snippet expands on some and there is a section;

Facts about Company XYZ,
underneath this is a short paragraph about the company, however I canít find that text any where on the site. Could be a DMOZ thing but I donít think so. Not all the sites have the plus sign, and then not all that do give you the expanded snippet with this special section.

We thought maybe it was site map related, but I see sites of ours with the plus sign that are not in site maps.

8:00 am on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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damn, see what you mean, it seems...interesting, lets put it like that. Randle, I'm guessing you are in the US?

Have you compared the extra drop down snippet with the content on the website? does it takes it from the top of the content or does it find relative content from the page?