Google Testing Enhanced Listings, Pagelinks & Auto-Spelling Correction

Ash Nallawalla

15 December 2008

SEO

Danny Sullivan has made a thought-provoking post concerning possible changes to the Google Search engine. It is about some testing that has been seen by some users. Do visit his site to read the details and see the images, but here is why some of these changes could be relevant to SEO:

  1. Enhanced Listings. Citysearch (US version) is supplying restaurant ratings to Google. I can’t see this test yet, but reading between the lines tells me that restaurant site owners may need to get into Citysearch and/or supply some restaurant data in a structured manner.
  2. Pagelinks. This is a new term coined by Danny. He is seeing search results where the snippet includes a “Jump to” to an anchor link on the same page. In the example search of “monopoly rules property” the destination page contains a menu at the top left, where the word “property” links to rules about that topic lower down the same page. This tells me that we may need to insert more anchor links where possible and it makes sense to do so.
  3. Automatic Spelling Correction. I can see this test in Australia. If you type what looks like a spelling mistake, Google shows the top two results as the best “Did you mean?” guesses. The SEO implication is that we now have yet another SERP where the #1 natural result has been pushed down the page.

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. Ash's Google+ profile

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1 Comment

  • Naq on 1 January 2009

    I hate the automatic spelling correction feature. This feature makes searching google very misleading. By showing results that I didn’t ask for, google assumes that they know what I want better than I know what I want. Top links get featured, reinforcing link hierarchy and making it harder for users to find lower ranked links, *even when users entered the correct search terms for those links*!

    It’s like google is saying that their engine is smarter than people. Sure we might occasionally make spelling errors, so the original “Did you mean…” link was useful. But as you point out, the “Top 2 results shown” feature usually buries the results I really wanted. The google democracy is undermined further.

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