A look at some SERPS changes by Google: real time updates, number of words and calories

A look at some SERPS changes by Google: real time updates, number of words and calories

14th March 2011

Google is constantly making changes to their algorithm and to their SERPS, the things we are seeing when we do a search. We discussed a couple of changes last week and now I’d like to shine a light on a few others again.

Today we see several changes and tests appear in the SERPS. Some of them have been there for a while, others are still in test mode and again others are completely new. Let’s look at real time updates, number of words, calories and recipes.

Real time updates

The Real time updates have been there for a while now. First you could see the actual updates scrolling (you still can see that in some cases). Then there was the separate “latest” page which shows you all the recent updates on you search query.

Now Google has added a line of text with a small balloon-icon in front of it showing the number of real time results. An the fun part is: this number is updating while you are looking at the page. This off course is meant to give us some more insight in what is ‘hot’ or not. The more real time updates the more ‘hot’ a topic is. And the bigger the chance is we are tempted to click on the results.

Number of words

One thing which Google is testing out is showing the number of words on a specific page after the search result. Next to a search result in some cases you might see “1000 words” or “500 words” or whatever number of words the specific page has.

The reason why Google is testing this, has everything to do with spam. Too many words on a page might indicate you are dealing with a ‘spammy’ site. You will be less tempted to click on a page with 100000 words in it or a page with ‘only’ 20 will also be a warning.

Recepies with calories in the SERP

The search for “Belgian Waffle Recipe” which was used to show the number of words feature above also triggers another new feature: recipes.

Google launched Google Recipes a few weeks ago, nothing “new” here, but we haven’t covered it yet. You can now search for recipes using the filters they provide in the sidebar. These filters can for example be set to ingredients, cook time and number of calories. Watch the video below to get a good feeling about Google Recipes.

Being a passionate amateur cook and also somebody with a bit too much fat around the waste, that is really helpful for me. But did you know that Google is now also handing you the calories and the cooking time even when you are not in Google Recipes? Well sort of. The search with the term “recipes” in it off course triggers Google Recipies results. But next to reviews you now can in the results also see the cooking time (30 to 40 minutes for the Belgian Waffles, depending on the recipe) and calories (206.7 for Waffles, yikes!).

So Google is making things yet again a little bit more simpler for us. Google already was the biggest cook book out there, they now just added a great search function within that book. And it is again handing us as much information as they can within the SERPS to tell us what we are about to be clicking on. All to help us figure out if that really is something we want to be clicking on.


Written By
Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.
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