Google Announces Two Changes to Their Search Results
Yesterday, Google announced two fairly significant changes to their search results. As you probably guessed, both of these changes were implemented because Google believes they will “help guide users more effectively to the information they need.”
The first change that Google announced was the addition of new technology which will offer expanded related search links. In addition to appearing at the bottom of a search results page, these related search links may also appear at the top of the page. Google provided a screenshot in their post to demonstrate this new addition:
In terms of the impact on bloggers and web site owners, these related links may lead to increased secondary traffic as users navigate from a broader search to a more focused one.
The second change that Google announced is that they will begin displaying longer snippets for certain queries. According to their post, these longer snippets can be displayed when a search is conducted that contains more than three words. For an actual example of what a longer snippet looks like, we can use this screenshot from Patrick Altoft of Blogstorm:
As you can see, while I do think that Google has a valid point in saying these longer snippets will be more valuable, this is also potentially going to cause some frustration for SEOs who have devoted a large amount of time to writing perfect meta descriptions that fit the previous maximum length of 155-160 characters.
Although they didn’t include this information in their post yesterday, one other interesting piece of Google news that is floating around the Internet is that big media companies are complaining that Google should give their content preferred positions within the SERPs. As originally reported by Advertising Age, major media companies are trying to convince Google that their “professional sources” are more reliable than blogs. While I don’t think these complaints will warrant any direct action from Google (although they have been saying since the end of last year that “Brands are how you sort out the cesspool“), it does show that most of these big media companies are still clueless when it comes to understanding how to harness Google and the Internet in general, which is good news for SEOs who are trying to land larger clients!