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Result details on Google SERPs offering a choice of S-M-L

     
7:45 pm on Sep 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm now seeing this on the upper left of web search pages above the results:

Web: Result details: S M L

For one top result:

S shows no description
M shows a 161 character description
L shows a 638 character description

Is this a new thing or just an experiment?

8:50 pm on Sept 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like an experiment - at least I'm not seeing it here. Google is always testing ideas on the SERPs, but a lot of them are not so easy to notice. This sounds like quite a remarkable idea, something cooked up by their snippet team.
2:30 am on Sept 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've been using it all day today on the L detail setting, and I really like it. It shows a meta description and on-page content, so it's much easier to distinguish between good pages with real info as opposed to keyword list spam or stub pages with just a deceptively nice meta description.
6:58 pm on Sept 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Techcrunch has some coverage on the SML test now [techcrunch.com], including a screenshot.

[edited by: tedster at 1:32 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2008]

8:51 pm on Sept 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What DC? I've checked a dozen or so DCs and can't find it. Maybe it's a user-based thing?
7:59 am on Sept 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Couldn't this also be a bad thing as visitors may not need to come to the site as they already have the info they require?...

Sounds great for a user, but a bit scary to the info based sites

9:22 am on Sept 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Shades of SearchMe here?

Looking at the screen shot, it actually looks pretty good. There is no milage for Google to screw adsense publishers by scraping their pages.

1:19 am on Oct 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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noticed this S,M,L test on www.google.com.au a couple of days back. But it wasn't visible on google.com at the time.

seems the test has been stopped or shifted to a different DC(as of 10/1/2008), as not visible anymore.

4:35 am on Oct 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google has had a SS (Super Small) version for a long time where you get just the Title with no meta or on-page text, but most people don't know about it.

Customization is something I've asked for and expected for a long time, so I'm glad Google is finally listening. They should have started this years ago.

p/g

2:04 pm on Oct 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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...Couldn't this also be a bad thing as visitors may not need to come to the site as they already have the info they require?...

Exactly - when does a snippet become content scraping ?

Yes yes I know google is a scraper but when they deliver enough information to answer a query without visiting a site then we loose - and of course in the long run so does google as we will no longer create free content for them.

2:34 am on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Update: I'm still seeing this. I also have noticed that the ranking order changes when I switch from M (default) to L (large) or S (small). For the keywords I tested, my home page ranks the best with the L option.
3:52 am on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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iridiax, i can't see how Google can explain changing rankings based on a user's SERP display settings. It just doesn't make sense.

anyone else seeing the rankings change with this test?

 

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