Google Fights “Pogostick Searchers” With New “Get More” Option

It’s common for searchers to do a search, click on a result, then go back to the results page and select another listing or do a new search. Now Google’s fighting this “pogosticking” behavior, as it is known, with a new feature – “Get More” links that appear when a searcher comes back to the results page.

This is unique. No major search engine has ever altered the results page once rendered, when someone comes back to it after being dissatisfied with a particular listing.

To understand more, consider this search for [smiley html code]:

Google Back Button Feature

Here, I’ve searched for smiley html code and gotten these discussion forum results shown. I click on the first link, then return to the results page. Now it has changed to show this:

Google Back Button Feature

See the “Get more discussion results” link. That shows as a way to help people get back more results that are similar to the one they initially selected and which perhaps will better match their query.

We covered this experiment on discussions earlier but since then, Google has said other classes of search will generate them, including date, videos, and discussions type of results.

Google said they are doing this as a way to help people find results that they were previously dissatisfied with.

I was unable to find any other examples of this in the Google search results, but if you see any, please comment with examples.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Google: User Interface | Google: Web Search | Top News

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://searchengineland.com Bradd Libby

    “Fights” pogosticking? It sounds like this might encourage it.

    If I know that going back to the results page will bring me some new links and resources I hadn’t seen before, wouldn’t I be more inclined to do so?

  • http://www.reallysimplechat.org/ SEWilco

    I found an example. Search for “search engine land” (without quotes). Click on the first result. Click BACK to go back. Under the first search result it now says “Get more results from the past 24 hours”.

    The phrasing implies that Google is aware that one thing which often changes on this site is the number of articles in the site.

  • http://www.blindfiveyearold.com ajkohn

    I’ve always been interested, and have pressed Google to share, in how many people actually use the ‘show options’ feature.

    My assumption is that usage is rather low and this test makes me wonder if Google is trying to boost usage of the ‘show options’ panel. Google clearly believes that the ‘show options’ panel can provide the user a better search experience … if they use it.

    It may not prevent pogosticking at first, but with enough repetition users might begin to use the ‘show options’ panel, without being prompted, on a more regular basis which should (allegedly) improve user experience.

  • http://www.StoneTemple.com crosby

    yep, and then click…. to more search results. ;-)

  • http://www.StoneTemple.com crosby

    Here is a comical self-referential example.
    Search “google pogostick” then click on this page (the one you are reading), then your browser’s back button. voila!

  • http://www.SurfCanyon.com Mark Cramer

    Hello Barry – Very interesting post. Thank you for pointing this out.

    I would like to invite you to install Surf Canyon (http://www.surfcanyon.com/extension.jsp) and then run a query on Bing, Google or Yahoo!. We add a layer of real-time personalization to the search page that dynamically re-ranks the results at the moment the user makes a selection. (We alter the result page once rendered, and have been doing so for years.) Results similar to those selected (it’s cumulative during the information session) are promoted as “recommendations” while dissimilar results are suppressed. It works will all types of results (not just discussions) and effectively transforms the static list of links into a dynamic conversation.

    Please let me know if you’re interested in learning more and it would be my pleasure to discuss it with you. Thank you!

  • http://sriniseo.blogspot.com willsmith86

    See i saw that news GOOGLE PRGOSTICK SEARCHERS, …..

    But now i saw one new thing in Google results… am searching for ” hospitals for Knee Replacement surgery ” keyword i was confused once i saw the result why that google doing this

    please see this http://i44.tinypic.com/m992mu.jpg

  • wfleiss

    Maybe at first, but once the searcher realizes they can search only “Discussions” by looking under “Show options”, they will have a better overall search experience. (IMO)

  • Stupidscript

    Already too late for programming that relies on the back button to function.

    Consider that all modern web browsers provide tabbed browsing.

    Using tabbed browsing, a modern user simply needs to Ctrl+click on any link (or load a linked resource “..in new tab”) to view the linked resource without “leaving” the initial search results page.

    Why bother rolling out a new feature that only functions when a near-obsolete mechanism is used? Why go “back” to view a page you never “left” in the first place?

    This seems more like an experiment that will help provide insight into the perceived value of hierarchical search results, while they are considered as replacements for current flat-view result pages.

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