• http://twitter.com/seosachin Sachin Kumar

    This is not the latest. I have notice it since last 4-5 months for the local searches…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.larry.kim Larry Kim

    Great article danny – I did some analysis into the impacted queries and posted some thoughts here. http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/08/21/new-google-serp

  • Durant Imboden

    It seems to me that Google is in a better position to judge the value of this new approach than we are, through its usability testing. Obviously, it’s annoying if you’re a third-party seller of Christopher Jagmin plates, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

    As for showing seven blue results instead of 10, I’m surprised that hasn’t happened for *all* searches, if only because Google’s Universal Search results are so much more cluttered than the old “10 blue links” results were. A page of seven “Web” results plus sitelinks, YouTube videos, images, local results, maps, etc. is likely to take up more space and overwhelm the searcher’s senses than the old “10 blue links” would have done. (As a user, I’d be happy to have the option of dispensing with the “Universal Search” clutter and displaying only the “Web Search” links.)

  • Peter Kern

    If we use your prior example Peter, you used “SEO”. That query is just too generic, there’s no intent.
    No, it is absolutely not too generic. “SEO” should show results which are the most relevant, explaining what it is for starter. The best forum about SEO can be also ranked well or good blogs.
    If I want to look for video I will search for “SEO video”. If I want to search for people “SEO people”. Google is trying to be to clever and predict what user wants. But it is simply not possible. This should stay as websites search engine not Google videos, google people engine, google+ profiles etc…

    This change has reportedly only affected 20% of queries, which means that this isn’t a full-scale change just blasted out there, it’s targeted at specific queries.

    Yeah right. Google Penguin also affected just 2% searches haha

    If you look at the second page of the SERP for “PC World”, there’s only 3 domains that belong to PC World,

    This is already 3 domains too much. If they are on the first place which is the most clickable place …. why put them again and again later? If a user ignores the first result clearly he is not interested in PC WORLD website. Is that so difficult to understand?

    Pro tip: If you turn off Google Instant, you can set results per page to between 10 and 100.

    Oh! That solves everything! Let’s say to people to change search results number to 100 from today!

    What a great point!

  • Peter Kern

    It seems to me that Google is in a better position to judge the value of this new approach than we are, through its usability testing.
    You mean they see more money on the account? So I guess it works well for them.

  • http://twitter.com/Jags_aws Jagruti (( Jags))

    We as a SEO industry are disturbed by the constant changes that Google makes. Whatever you say and whatever it is that pinches us..Let’s face it..Google leads the search market share. And they are a leader! Are they making things easier for us organic search experts? Nope…You constantly have to be in touch with Google’s updates because you can never predict what they might come up with next and how it might affect organic searches. In the current scenario what I am seeing is that they are giving more importance to universal searches. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Would that help in increasing click rates? On the other hand,multiple results of the same domain on the same page is giving a domain multiple points of impressions. That works for the domain but is Google being unfair by giving a certain domain multiple spots? What has been modified in the Google algorithms for this to happen? And where is Google heading with this? Danny, for me these are the questions I would want you to address.
    I applaud Danny’s constant efforts to dig in the facts from Google…



  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KO2GYIF762Q6BDQM6BOA3TQPU4 John

    Tyler, let’s see when your site gets tanked due to someone neg-seo your site, would you still say all these words? I doubt it. You said you never find yourself going to page 2? Well, tell me your site is and i will be glad to do it for you. Im sure enough your site isnt that good. you are just overvaluing yourself in ranking client sites for some random traffic keywords like most SEO services out there :)

    true SEOs always rank their own sites and make money from that. You choose to provide SEO services because you know you cant rank for any competitive keyword yourself. Im sure your game is about localization which is just a kid’s game for true SEOs.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KO2GYIF762Q6BDQM6BOA3TQPU4 John

    that’s not a pro tip. stop considering yourself as a pro just because you want to sell your services to stupid random clients

  • http://www.tylerherrick.com Tyler Herrick

    I do not work for Google, but I utilize many of their services. You realize it was one engineer responsible for that data scoop in street view, right? It was ruled that Google broke no laws, as anyone could drive down the street and collect the data that Google did.

  • Durant Imboden

    What I said: Usability testing (a concept that has been around since the pre-Google days).

  • Peter Kern

    Oh yes as google says ‘the data was collected by mistake’ and you believe in this? Hahaha Quick question… whenever you see open car/or house you came in take whatever you want and walk off? And this is of course fine because it was open?

  • Peter Kern

    it wouldn’t ever happen because people as you think about the money before they have even 1 user. Google or facebook at first days were non profit ideas… Money will destroy both of them now.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Sorry, I’ll fix that.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Alan, you think it’s a hard question to ask Matt’s personal stake in Google? Because you believe that what, he’s going to do something for Google to somehow make himself wealthy? That’s your idea of a hard question?

    Matt was like employee number 30 at Google. He was in so early at Google that he doesn’t need to work there. Why don’t you go over to his blog, check out his disclosure page and read up on how he does angel investing. He’s doing that because he has money to invest. He’s not hoping that if he can somehow get more ads into Google, he’s going to make an extra $10,000 this year and live a new life.

    He doesn’t have to work at Google. He works there because he enjoys it.

    You want question on host crowding. I’ve been arguing with Google about this since 2006 and longer, to improve it in various ways.

    My personal stake in Google? Go to my bio, click on my disclosures links — I don’t have any, nor in any company I cover.

    I get that some SEOs feel attacked. I also get that some SEOs don’t like the answers they get back from Google when I ask, and therefore decide I have to be blamed for them.

    I can’t solve that problem. It’s ages old to blame the messenger. That’s why we have the saying. It’s disappointing when you are the messenger, especially when you are a messenger who really does ask hard things. But I figure the vast majority of my readers trust I’m doing a good job, so I get on with doing that job.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Both. I’m a journalist, and I’m also an advocate for trying to see anything fixed that’s wrong, be that an issue for SEOs, an issue for search engines or an issue for searchers.

  • robthespy

    I am absolutely showing respect for Danny Sullivan. Personally, I think he is a journalist. He reports on the industry and offers opinions.

    We shouldn’t be looking for him to go to bat for against Google or anyone else.

    I’ve been at this game for 15 years, and Danny has my steadfast respect…and trust.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Yes, David, a letter to the FTC on paid inclusion is on the fringe. A post about the failure of dealing with link analysis is a fringe-like topic. I could go on, by hit my author link here on SEL and on Marketing Land. I think you have some reading to do. Or check out the Google: Critics category we have here. Yeah, we have an entire category about it.

    You’re like a single issue voter, as best I can tell, who focuses on Penguin. My guess is also because you were hit by it. OK….

    I’ve covered Penguin plenty, and the impact it has had on some site. It remains true that the very vast majority of small businesses were not hit by it. It they were, you wouldn’t be hearing the screaming coming mainly from people emerging from blackhatwarriorspinfastforafiver forums.
    No, you’d be hearing various congressional reps yelling about it, because believe me, those small businesses would be yelling at them.
    I spent ages looking at maybe 50 different sites all hit by Penguin since it started, in each case people saying they’d done absolutely nothing wrong, then in all but maybe 3 of them, finding clear evidence of spam.
    Penguin targets spam. Doesn’t do it perfectly, but that’s what it mainly seems to have hit.
    New or small sites have zero chance? Yes. I heard that in 2003, after Florida. Google’s changed wiped out small businesses then. Remember? I mean, remember? You were online then, and you remember what happened and what huge turmoil that was in comparison to Penguin, which is a blip in contrast? Because I remember, because I was there.
    If you weren’t there, if you don’t remember, if you lack that perspective, then I really suggest you read this:

    No, spam doesn’t mean a small business, and I sure as heck have concerns about false positives. But they’ve been rare, from what I’ve seen.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    There’s a huge amount to say about organic listings, David (and Alan), and we say it every day. If you believe that SEO is dead, it’s not that our coverage isn’t relevant. It’s really that you’re not keeping your skills up with what is relevant, I’d say.

    I’ve been covering the SEO space since 1996. Every year, I’ve been people worry that search engines are pushing out the organic listings and that it is turning into purely pay-for-play. And yet, each year, there are more opportunities to write about.

    David, the most disturbing thing that Google is doing right now is the growth of paid inclusion. That goes right to the organic listings. Even if they grow it, there will still be organic opportunities. But this is one of those “fringe” issues I’ve been writing about that’s anything but fringe. You should read up on it. Because if paid inclusion ever comes to web search, you’ll be looking back at 2012 and musing about how good it was then.

  • http://www.tylerherrick.com Tyler Herrick

    Fallacious bullshit.

  • robthespy

    David, you say, “In 2012, a new or small site has zero chance to succeed in the organic listings without being deemed a “spammer” by YOU or Google”

    That is simply not true. I could list examples in every category. retail, travel, health, food, etc..

    Now, if you launch your business with the idea that Organic Google is going to be your #1 Rev. source, you obviously haven’t done your DD anyway. And chances are you’re going to fail regardless.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    We’ve deleted one comment for making a slur about sexual orientation. That won’t be tolerated. Some comments are also on the line of being disrespectful. Clearly this change has caused some strong opinions with some. That’s fine. You can express those. But this isn’t preschool. Express your opinions within our commenting guidelines, with respect for others, without foul language, without slurs, or don’t express them at all.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U2H7S4MG6PLQUVOA2CFNMZ2QUQ Ric Desan

    Are they even remotely offering a way to opt out of this heavy-handed, attention funneling crap? I mean how many people do you know that click their ads to begin with? I know I havent in at least a decade.

    Perhaps I will unwillingly have to give Bing a try since Google is aiming to be even more rigid and heinous than that punk Zuckerberg and his privacy selling social sink!

  • robthespy

    Tyler, which is it- is Google giving us choices or making decisions for us?

    A user shouldn’t have to refine his/her query a bunch of times. It’s much easier to keep scrolling or hit “Next.”

    If Google truly believes they know what’s best, why show ten Adwords ads, shopping results, related searches, etc.. on every page?

  • robthespy

    Well said- thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/nelsond25 Nelson D

    so many logical fallacies it’s not funny:

    He’s rich but then so is /were all the other execs and employees of Wall
    Street banks that sought the next dollar. Sometimes it’s not even about
    money but pride or desire to see the company make more money or succeed
    in something else. So that means nothing and YOU should see him as a PR
    shill, just as you would see an Exxon or Bank of America spokesperson.

    Any way, you have a habit (must be profitable for you as an “insider” of
    repeating Google’s talking points and taking their word. You are their
    enabler, you are helping them ruin the web and our small businesses.

    Exhibit A:

    “Fasten your seat belt, if you’ve been spamming Google. The anti-spam
    “Penguin Update” will have more jolts in the coming months, as Google
    continues to adjust it. In contrast, updates to the Panda algorithm
    aimed at low-quality pages are now so minor as not to be noticed, when
    they roll out monthly.”

    Really Danny? My site has not spammed Google at all yet I was hammered
    by Panda and Penguin when they promoted their advertisers (huge brands)
    as Google’s revenue soared. Coincidence? Yeah OK. Ask that to Google:
    explain your revenue increase in light of “search improvements”. How is that possible, was Google so bad that a 100% increase in adclicks is a better “consumer experience” ?

  • http://twitter.com/nelsond25 Nelson D

    SEO= in most cases is small business trying to be found. That worked great until Google started to rig results to favor Adwords.

  • http://twitter.com/todayztrendz David Smith

    robthespy, tell me more about other traffic sources. Please do not mention the usual clichéd marketing 101 responses like forums, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest etc – tell me about those strong-intent, internet-based traffic sources you tap into and give me details. Right now, most sites – like it or not – depend on search engines for traffic because they give the best quality traffic. That’s not so much a compliment to Google as a compliment to the very design of a search engine. It just so happens that Google has the lion’s share of traffic.

  • http://twitter.com/todayztrendz David Smith

    Danny, I have to say – you are out of touch with the rest of the SEO community. Go to webmasterworld.com, davidnaylor, seobook, seochat, seroundtable – ANY SEO site and the vast majority of each respective readership are very concerned at the changes Google have been undertaking specifically with Penguin. Just taking webmasterworld.com as an example, it’s a well established forum with erudite contributors – many of whom have been hit by Penguin – they’re not what you would call “black hat” or “spammers” – they run serious, branded small businesses (and many have been for decades) – many have been hit by Penguin. Your attempts to group everyone as “black hat” and “spammers” who got hit by Penguin isn’t helpful.

    At the end of all of this, you can use any words you like to create your own little version of reality. It will not change reality, and I do know a lot of small businesses will be hit by future Penguin updates if the previous updates are anything to go by.

  • http://twitter.com/todayztrendz David Smith

    Danny, I have been following your Google Shopping pay-to-play criticism, but you’re really only arguing a semantic point with Google – whether they call it “paid inclusion” or not, right? If you’re arguing against the actual decision to make Google Shopping 100% pay-to-play, I’m behind THAT criticism.

    Here’s the bottom line: what kind of internet do you want? Me (and allow me to “blue sky” for a moment) – I want a more diverse one, one where one person can start up a business and succeed without being strong-armed by a huge company to pay them just for a chance to succeed. I want more diversity of traffic sources. I want companies to succeed or fail on their own merits or demerits. I definitely don’t want an internet where there’s way too much marketing noise to signal as we see now.

    Yes Google is a private company and they can do what the hell they like – they just happen to be a heavy weight on the internet’s shoulders (and I’ve been around since 1996 too online) – I do not like the way things are headed at all.

    The funny thing is – if Google were to lose even 10% of search traffic to Bing, that might be enough to make things seem a lot freer….so on a positive note, things can change quickly….let’s hope they change for the better of the small business owner.

  • Matt McGee

    Due to the degradation of this comment thread, we’re closing comments on this article.