Changes to the Google search listings explained

Digital

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Over recent months, Google has made a number of changes to it's search engine results, which it hopes, will help improve the service and improve usability. These changes have come 'thick and fast', so we thought we'd put together a quick blog to illustrate exactly what to expect when using the search engine.

Multiple results from one website

If your search query is quite specific, or can be answered comprehensively by a single website, Google will include more than one result from that site so as to demonstrate it's belief that that website is likely to provide you with a strong answer. It stands to reason when you think about it: the more results a single website has ranked on the first page of Google, the more clicks it is likely to receive, and hence, the more authority the website is likely to have over that subject.

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Google Business Listings

When searching for a product or service, Google looks to return a list of locations and businesses which it feels are able to answer your query. Whilst it has provided this service for some time, Google has now relocated the embedded map, moving it from it's previous position within the main, 'natural listing' area, and into a position just above the sponsored listing column on the right-hand side of the page.

As you can see from the image, the businesses, which correspond to the markers on the map, are listed in the main body of the page, effectively replacing the natural listings - thus demonstrating the importance of optimising for local business results. Google has also included a link to business reviews, as well as the various known directories (i.e., thomsonlocal.com), which the business appears within.

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Google Preview

The final alteration Google has made to it's search listing which we'd like to discuss, is that of the inclusion of a site preview feature. When querying a particular topic, you are now able to hover over the magnifying glass icon which appears next to each listing, in order to view a preview of that website. With that said, users are now able to take a quick look at each website in order to gain a quick understanding as to whether that site can answer their query.

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So what does everyone make of the new developments?

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