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Google.com Testing Only 3 Organic Results on Page One

   
7:47 am on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



I've not seen this reported anywhere else but on three separate occasion now I have been presented with results with only three organic listings

Screenshot:

[twitpic.com ]

Has anyone else seen this, fyi I am located in Singapore searching on google.com using the new instant search.

If this was implemented it really would have a huge negative effect on SEOs and gives an even higher percentage of screen real estate to adwords.
1:14 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Isn't it possible that Google could only find three relevant results for that particular search term?

In the past I've done Google searches which returned "No results found", indicating that Google couln't find any relevant results.
1:22 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'd find it highly unlikely that Google could only find 3 relevant results for "Seoul".
1:32 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



Well just to clarify, that is just page 1, you can click page 2 and you get normal page two results (starting from the 4th Result) so there isn't just 3 results, just only 3 results are being shown on the front page.

I can confirm I've had this on a further 2 queries, but I have searched for literally hundreds of separate things, so it is rare.
1:33 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'd find it highly unlikely that Google could only find 3 relevant results for "Seoul".




If "Seoul" is the search term, you're obviously correct. When I looked at the screen shot, it was too small for me to read.
1:36 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



Full size screen here [twitpic.com ]
1:47 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks chrislloyd515, I see it now.

I have my search preferences set to show 100 results per page, so probably would never see this happen, unless it overrides my settings.
1:53 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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that is just page 1, you can click page 2 and you get normal page two results

I didn't look close enough - that's good. At least you can learn what position your page is at if it's not top three.
1:53 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If this goes live with the instant results, all those people who clung to the "Do no Evil" mantra can eat their words. Well, they already can anyway but that's besides the point.

I don't think this will go live because it will push people looking for information and not shopping to another search engine which will be Bing or Yahoo.

Google used to be the best to find information, now it's going towards being the worst and its totally being geared towards getting people to click ads and stay on Google properties.
1:59 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This test may be something they're doing for research and not immediate full deployment. If Google Instant ends up having almost no one looking below the fold, then why waste the bandwidth on the rest of page one?
2:18 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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What is Google instant use for serology ?
bing and yahoo give result almost instant ...
the only new stuff is that when you typing google search for it ! for example when you wanna search "seoul" the google search for "S" "SE" SEO" SEOU" and "SEOUL" which is fail ! when i want search seoul i don't wanna result for "S" or "SE" or any#*$! like that ...
2:18 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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When I had a peek at that screenshot the very first thing I noticed was the right column ads, hmmmmmmm. I guess I'm so used to not noticing them that when they are of uniform fill vertically I did notice them. Maybe they are trying to eliminate ad blindness. Maybe it might be something dynamic like 3, 4, or 5 organic results if there are enough paid ads to provide a full screen fill on the right. Mind tricks.
2:32 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



there is something almost suspect with the query string. I don't think that is just a search on "Seoul". The first params of the query string say different. I think you got some sort of personalized results.
2:39 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



Happened to me on numerous occasions and I had to refresh the page, could be some bug.
2:41 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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6 sponsored links.... but only 3 organic results?
4:10 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



6 sponsored links.... but only 3 organic results?


Do no evil.
4:16 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Looking at the address bar search for "Most visited worldwide cities", I was about to say the same thing that Brett just said. I am assuming this is some sort of a search-series or search-train. And Google filters the results as you move ahead to give you the most targeted results - based on all that you searched in that series..
4:42 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think you got some sort of personalized results.

I was going to say the same thing because the string in the URL immediately caught my eye. It'd be interesting to see the whole URL. It'd also be interesting to test the number of related searches it takes to make Google get tired enough of you to only present three results. :) It's like Google said "I don't want to play anymore."
5:18 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I am assuming this is some sort of a search-series or search-train.

I don't think so. The Ajaxy #-stuff is just appended to the normal "google.com/search?q=widget#q=other+widget" URL. The results seem to be the same as "google.com/#q=other+widget". Probably the first search was done without Ajax, maybe from a toolbar, so the /search URL stayed there.
9:20 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



You got it yaix2 - and that is a bit of a challenge if you can't send someone a link to a specific search result.

Jill Whalen, a long time SEO, just tweeted that she got a SERP with only 6 results [twitter.com], so there's another confirmed report.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 9:27 pm (utc) on Sep 9, 2010]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]

10:24 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)



Whether or not theres something fishy going on with the search string in the URL - the end is nigh for 80% of the websites on the internet the way google is going
10:40 pm on Sep 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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the end is nigh for 80% of the websites on the internet the way google is going


News Flash... The Internet is not Google.

There are alternatives and Googles market share in the US will do nothing but decline.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:41 am (utc) on Sep 10, 2010]

9:17 am on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm just wondering. Could this technology be for the mobile platform? As you may know, Google shall be bringing Instant for mobile later this year, and for mobile phones, it makes sense to only show 3-4 results since there is not too much space anyway.

As for computers, haven't we also heard about 30-results-per-page rumors earlier? We could in fact be seeing an increase in the number of results.
2:23 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This makes a lot of sense for google, it reduces choice in organic results, making it more likely for people to click on a PPC ad to find what they are looking for.
4:10 pm on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Could this technology be for the mobile platform?

There really isn't any way to know, but that was my first thought also. It kind of makes sense. Guess we'll find out in a few months.
 

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