I just noticed a new feauture in google sitelinks, I am now seeing sitelinks with tabs, very similar to an internal navigation, basically enables you to navigate to any popular page of the site from the search results. I am only seeing this for big brand keywords, such as 'Apple'. Can anyone else see this yet?
Yes, must be, none of my colleagues can see it either. I think it is pretty handy for searchers and for brands to capture more of their brand related keyword traffic, also means searchers will spend more time on the search results page. Hopefully they will roll it out if it performs well. I am using firefox, can't see it in chrome or IE. I added that link so people could see it for themselves.
Australia and New Zealand are a day ahead of the US, so it would make sense that we would see it here first, I usually see things like this here before anywhere else in the world does, one of the bonuses of living in the future.
I noticed tabbed sitelinks late last night on a navigational query, and can reproduce those results in IE but not in FF. They're appearing for some big brands but not all. The requirement seems to be a site with clear hierarchical structure that is large, but of manageable scope.
[new york times] and [apple] are two queries where I feel it's OK to mention the search, and the NYT in particular seems almost designed for this kind of categorized display. It gets the full monty of sitelink type search features, including 3 full-line headline links, six "Top Links" as the first tab, and "Opinion", "Sports", "World", "Business", "Politics", "Arts", "US", "More", as the other tabs. Under each tab are then additional subsections and/or stories. Ditto with Apple and products.
(PS that the NYT also gets a search box in the SERP).
This seems to be another of those tests where Google is testing multiple factors involving clustering, probably with more emphasis here on its interface than on distinguishing among similar pages... but it will give Google many extra insights into what searchers want in a particular navigational query.
I'm very curious, with regard to sites like the NYT and Apple, whether the interface increases or decreases user engagement with those sites. While it seems like a no-brainer to say that more engagement with Google suggests less engagement on the sites it lists, I'm not so sure it's that simple.
Interesting that this is happening as we still have host "uncrowding" results evolving... which I see as perhaps an analogous test... albeit coming at it from almost the opposite direction.