Recently, through my work and just generally browsing I have come across some strange experiments and changes Google have been implementing. Working with Google day in and day out give me some great insight into the inner workings of the beast, and this time it seems as if they are making shifts in Organic real estate.
Check the following screenshots out. This only works searching for brand related terms for large companies, where naturally Google would previously show compressed one-liner sitelinks they are now showing up to 12 large sitelinks with extended descriptions:
And even Google have given themselves these extended sitelinks:
I have witnessed this experiment a couple of times over the last few months, but it seems like Google have finally rolled this out on a larger scale. It will be good to see how this affects SERP and organic traffic. Obviously we can probably only expect these sitelinks on brand terms and high CTR terms (>20%). It’s also worth noticing that every search I performed above showed no PPC ads on the SERP. This could be because the search terms were generic brand terms or could be part of the reason the extended sitelinks are showing due to very high CTR rates on organic listings.
It is very interesting to see how Google is looking holistically at search results and tuning the user experience using extended sitelinks. However, I hope this is kept to unique brand search terms where it benefits the user experience and is not brought into other search terms where a single player ends up with 80-100% of the organic real estate where the search term may be vague in what the user is actually looking for. Not only will it be more difficult to get noticed in organic SERP’s, but it will hinder the overall user experience.
I know there is a lot of other cool ideas Google are looking to roll out in organic search and PPC soon. One of the many benefits of being knee deep in the search trenches! Stay tuned guys… you can always subscribe to my feed!
Google posted a good article explaining the sitelink rollout over at Google’s Official Blog.