• http://www.rimmkaufman.com/ George Michie

    Hi Jim, great article. There is one important caveat worth pointing out, I think: all brand phrases are not created equally. There is a difference between brands that compete with their distributors (jetBlue, adidas, etc) and those that don’t (Apple, Cisco, IBM). In the former category, the “naked” brand term returns the sitelinks and 7 results as you describe, but when you add to the brand terms (“jetBlue flights to NYC”, “adidas running shoes”) these inherently more competitive brand phrases return no sitelinks and a full 10 results.

  • daveintheuk

    Well written as ever.

    This would be great if the quality was there already – but frankly it isn’t, especially with local results. I’m afraid this is just another update to benefit Google – do users REALLY want less results to choose from? I doubt it very much – but I’m sure if Google has a credible study they’ll publish it so we can all understand.

  • http://www.delivra.com/ Cody Sharp

    Well…there’s always Bing.

  • http://twitter.com/MathiasAhlgren Mathias Ahlgren

    Have also noticed that 7 is the new 10 for some non brand keywords eg currency converter

  • http://www.ydeveloper.com/e-smart-ecommerce-suite.html eCommerce

    So, what does it meas, Is Google encouraging Paid results with this update?

  • http://manveshsathe.wordpress.com Manvesh Sathe

    Hey Jim, Thanks for the post .. It will help me in my study.. Most my targeted keywords getting this type of results from last few weeks… I’m regularly searching reason for it.. But didnt get the reason.. Most of the SEO gurus told me its only because of Authority. But I dont think so.. If it is due to authority then in coming days branded sites only gets rank with the more number of links in SERP… It become monopoly.. My study is still going on.. hope find some good reason and as well as solution on it.. Thanks again.

    Manvesh Sathe

  • http://trafficdigital.com/ Mark Hughes

    Quick fix – set your page to show the top 100 results. Now I’m on page 1 every time, 60% of the time.

  • Bizzkit

    I actually have screenshots of several keywords showing only 3 results and a large local results chart. The screenshots were taken last week, probably during a test. The same keywords now show 10 results. It will be a whole different world, fighting for 3 spots =)

  • http://www.arcticllama.com/index.htm ArcticLlama

    Interesting. Before this change, many people wrote off the 8 – 12 positions as too far down to really be that important, despite being on the first page. The idea was that many people actually interested in the bottom of the first page results would also likely be willing to look at the second page. The truly interesting thing will be not what happens to 8 to 12, which were already single digit click through percentages, but if it negatively impacts 5 to 7, which are now “below the fold”.

  • http://twitter.com/Jeffrey_Smith SEO Design Solutions

    Great post Jim:

    I was going to write about this a few months ago when a customer brought this to my attention, but I figured if I did they would roll it back to 10.

    So, it’s official then, the top 10 has become the top 7 for keywords / markets unknown (with observed additional paid ads above the fold, when I saw it) means the state of search as we know it (at least using Google) is skewed again…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mihail-Slivinskij/100000840984482 Михаил Сливинский


    As far as I understood, the most keywords with 7 results are short query with brand, am I right? If so – there are no significant problems for SEO :)

  • http://twitter.com/adido Adido

    I was thinking the same thing… does this mean we’ll start to see 7 organic listings but 10 paid ads? So more the real estate is now showing PPC as a %? Perhaps they did this to try and maximise revenues (again)

  • http://www.ydeveloper.com/e-smart-ecommerce-suite.html eCommerce

    Yes. it’s true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kalatantra.consultancy Kalatantra Consultancy
  • http://www.facebook.com/kalatantra.consultancy Kalatantra Consultancy
  • http://www.linkworxseo.com/ Link Worx Seo

    Have seen the same myself. Could be pulling data from the same data center. Agree, less front page the more difficult. Believe they should have stayed with top 10, why changed it? Seriously. All the new Google Search World can be implemented without the disruption of the norm. Not sure if I like this one…

  • http://www.linkworxseo.com/ Link Worx Seo

    Good point, more ad listings less organic has been prevalent recently as well. Thinking Google already makes a ton, but Google is a company and by far the worlds largest advertising board/company.