Google again making (small) changes to SERPS?

Google again making (small) changes to SERPS?

21st February 2011

It is not a surprise that Google keeps working on the look of the SERPS. In a year you will be able to see over 400 changes, which means that more than daily there will be something different on a Google SERP page. You just might not notice it. But lucky for us, a lot of SEOs do notice.

Today I’d like to highlight two changes which were spotted in the UK by two UK SEOs, Andrew Girdwood and Matt Sawyer. They spotted some sort of ‘how to’s’ and related searches in different categories. Both yet more elements which are put in Universal search.

Related searches

Let’s start of with the latter one. Andrew Girdwood noticed when searching for “ratchets” that on top of the results there are ‘related searches’. These related searches are also somehow divided into different categories: “brands”, “stores” and “Types”.

It is not a simple test, because it happens on more searches on products with different types or brands, stores and types.

It however also seems to work on certain people, maybe because they are in the news or for another reason. A search for “Lara Logan” returns related searches only.

Why is Google doing this?

So what is Google trying to reach with these related searches? Obviously their first and foremost reason is to give the user what they want more quickly. They are offering specifications on ‘general’ searches which in most cases probably will be specified by the users in the follow up search. Now they are offering them those searches right away.

The fact that they ‘break them up’ into categories might have something to do with the brand-recognition of Google.

How to’s (?)

Another very interesting find was done by Matt Sawyer. He tweeted a search he had done on “website build” which returned some interesting top results. Here we find results what look like how to pages. In this case how to build a website, or how to make a choice for who should build your website.

The number of results differ from search to search when I tested it. But it seems a bit unclear for now what the meaning of these results are. A discussion on Twitter hasn’t found the answer yet.

An interesting option here is the “Feedback” link after the title. If you click on it you get asked if this is accurate or not. Google is trying to maybe get users opinions on this. The thing is, it is a bit difficult to rate if you don’t know what it is.

So far we haven’t found any other searches showing these kind of results, so so far we are left in the dark on what this really is. If you have more information on this or have found this on another search, let us know!


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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