Google is constantly testing new features for search. This month we are seeing some interesting developments in the ranking pages. Many of the large search websites provide information about these tests as they are spotted in the search engine ranking pages. It is important to watch what Google is changing, because the implementation of some changes may impact your search traffic.
Following a European ruling, the PPC results will now be clearly marked with a yellow ad button. This is to ensure that users understand clearly that these are paid advertisements rather than organic listings. The blocks of paid ads occur at both the top and bottom of search listings, seeming to leave the right hand side of the page for Knowledge Graph information, where available. However, it does seem likely that ads will become interspersed among organic listings rather than in blocks, and this will have ramifications for all.
It would seem that news, video and image results are being moved further down the first page listings rather than taking up much of the real estate above the fold. This may be in response to the criticism regarding the number of listings of direct benefit to Google at the top of the page.
What Else Is Changing in the SERPs?
An additional touch is that there now appears a pop-up box for certain listings giving more detail of the site linked to. The information within this box can come from any source, including Wikipedia.
Number of results: it would seem that the result count (About 435,000 results....) has already been removed from mobile search, and this may be an indication that it will also vanish from desktop search. Although it is a much-used resource in search engine optimization, it is of little interest to most users. So looking at it from the real users’ perspective, it and was simply taking up screen estate.
For more indications of how Google results may appear in 2014, there is a prediction presentation at http://www.slideshare.net/crumplezone/the-face-of-google-in-2014.
Want to stay on top of Google’s changes? Not sure how your content should align to meet changing algorithms and user expectations? Call MintCopy at 888-646-8003 or send us an email.