Soon, Google will quietly begin changing the way it blends news results and standard web search results, co-mingling links to news sources and web pages if your search terms are relevant to current news events. The new format will replace OneBox news links that have normally appeared at the top of a search result page, such as shown below:
[NOTE: Originally Google was to roll this change out on Thursday, when we posted. Now the company says it won't happen for at least another week. We've updated timing references to reflect this.]
Shortly, news results will no longer be inserted into web pages using a OneBox format. Instead, they will be blended into the regular search results (we can’t yet show you how this looks, because the changes are still going live — more on this below).
“This allows us to rank news according to relevance in search results rather than at top of the page,” said Marissa Mayer, Google vice president, search products & user experience.
Mayer said that the changes are a result of new technology Google has developed to “dig deeper” into news and find truly relevant stories, rather than simply displaying up to three headlines in the OneBox format, which were displayed based on keyword triggers rather than a deeper analysis of news content.
News results will appear anywhere in a search result page, and links to different sources will be clustered together, similar to how stories are grouped in Google News. Thumbnail images related to the news will also appear next to these results.
Keep in mind that the implementation will be different from the Plus Box options Google has been offering for video, maps and finance information. In those cases, you only get information blended from Google’s vertical search properties if you specifically choose to get it by clicking on + symbol. With the news change, news information will show without causing searchers to make it appear.
Is this the end of the OneBox, which has been used to show other types of information from vertical search listings such as from Google Scholar or Google Product Search?
Right now, it’s only the end of OneBox for news, Google says. But it seems likely that if this works for news search, Google will likely do it for other vertical search results.