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Two Columns Split 50/50 Between Google Products and SERPs, Is This The New Layout?

     
2:17 pm on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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So I went to check rankings for blue widgets this morning from California and what I saw was basically:

Two Columns: The left side was google top adwords and organic serps, the right column was google products aranged in a 2X4 grid, with more adwords below it.

Is this the future of search results? Has this been going on for a while and I missed this?
4:39 pm on July 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I should also add that the page was split right down the middle, so that the column on the right with the google products and right-hand adwords was as wide as the column on the left with the search results (and the above-the-results adwords).

Really makes it difficult for a user, in my opinion, to figure out what they are looking at.
5:00 pm on July 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Maybe they're testing? I just did a similar search, and the right-hand column was considerably narrower than the main or left column with the organic results.

I also did the same search on Yahoo!, where the ads in the left column had a white background and were almost indistinguishable from the organic results. (At least Google--like Bing, but unlike Yahoo-- uses a tint behind its ads in the left column. Of course, it would be even better if the ads in the right column also had a background tint on the SERPs of all three search engines.)
5:45 pm on July 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I saw it too. On the right hand side the products are organised in 2 rows x 4 shoppng results with images (when you have your window reasonably wide). If the window is narrower, then you get 4 rows x 2 shopping results. In both cases 8 adwords results (for bids to positions 4 - 11) are below the shopping results.

On the left there are three adwords results, below this is 2 listings of organic, followed by image row, followed by the rest of organic.

Basically, when you look at this SERPs, most that jumps out are images (from the shopping results on the right and also from image results row that is within the organic SERPs).
6:55 pm on July 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@ aakk9999

Thank you for confirming this.

I saw the exact same thing that you did, and agree that the google products are what jump out at you the most.
10:39 pm on July 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps it would be better if we had a picture.
1:10 am on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I need to see a picture of this. :)
7:29 am on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Sorry that I'm not able to do a screen capture of this right now, but here's a query that sometimes shows 8 images, which I think is general enough for us to mention....

laptops

It produces something roughly similar to the described results, but not what I'd call 50/50, though you could accomplish that by making your browser window wide enough.

At the narrowest browser width to allow 2 rows of 4 images each, though, the ratio is closer to 700 px for left column, and 460 px for right, roughly a ratio of 60/40.

I'm seeing the page display eight (8) shopping results in the upper right corner for the above query on Firefox only, but that may just be what I happened to see. On Chrome and IE, I see the page display six (6) images (in 2 rows of 3 images each) in the upper right corner, which may be what was there before....

As I'm also seeing it, the left organic column width, margins, etc, are not changed between the 6 and the 8 images pages, but the overall window opening needs to be wider to see the 4 images to a row... about 80 px wider. In the right (paid) column, the 4 images per row display also results in a slightly narrower right hand border on that column. Organic borders are the same in both displays.

The 8 images in the upper right definitely pull the eye more than 8 images do.
8:12 am on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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For the people outside US, to see what Robert describes, add &gl=us to the URL after doing the search for laptops on google.com.

Here is the image: [oi43.tinypic.com...]

And here is how it appears when browser window is narrows: [oi44.tinypic.com...]

For the query that I saw earlier, there was also an additional row of images (not shopping results) in the main SERPs area.

Without &gl=us, searching for laptops on google.com from the UK, Google SERPS looks different from the described.
12:55 pm on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Ah, this isn't new.
2:30 pm on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for the pictures, at aakk9999

"For the query that I saw earlier, there was also an additional row of images (not shopping results) in the main SERPs area."


Yes, on the queries I saw, it was like there was only three organic listings above the fold, and they were basically "bordered" by adwords on the top, google products on the left, and google images on the bottom.
3:00 pm on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Oh, i have been seeing this here in India for the past 15 days or so...I can reproduce this for any ecommerce product search and my comment on the other thread "Multi Domains Crowding "Smart Spam" Is Defeating Google Webspam Team"

But then for e-commerce, the diversity is offered thro. product listing ads and that might sound like a better choice for them, isn't it?


was influenced by what I am seeing here for e-commerce searches.
3:00 pm on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The layout appears to vary. For example, I ran a search for berberine (an herb) and the upper right was a large box with products, with nothing much underneath it and regular SERPS on the left.

A search for bikes brought back the typical layout with product images on the left side with SERPS

Another one for fringe boots was the big box of product images in the upper right again, with PPC ads filling in below.

I like the big box in the upper right for a quick view of products.
3:05 pm on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Here is an screenshot for this.

[fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net...]
3:07 pm on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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i wouldn't say it is a 50:50 split but may be 55:45 and the right one is what attracts users.
3:10 pm on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Google planned this change around the same time they announced they were no longer just a search company and were now to be known as an "information" company(they call it "Google Knowledge"). Google plans to provide the information searchers want right on the Google search page. Google plans to phase out the need for your website if they can manage it. They are already well underway.

They targeted big traffic searches first, actors, products etc but are rolling it out to a wider and wider range of keywords daily.
3:12 pm on July 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It would be more appropriate to call it an ad engine than a search engine or an information engine for e-commerce searches...
 

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