Google Making More Changes to the SERPs

Google Adds Brand Links, Virtual Keyboards to SERPs

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Google has a couple new elements going on in its results pages. The first one is the addition of brand links for some queries. For example, if you search for "watches" you might get links for Citizen, Nixon, Rolex, Omega, and Fossil. Or if you search for "footballs" you might get links for Wilson, Nike, Rawlings, Spalding, and Dallas Cowboys.

In the ones I’ve seen, they appear near the top of the results, just below the top paid listings. They are not links to the sites of these brands, however. They are links to SERPs for queries that incorporate those brands into them. For example, clicking "Wilson" in the footballs example will take me to results page for "wilson footballs".

Football brand link in Google SERPs

It’s unclear whether these results have been rolled out on a mass scale or if they are just part of a limited test. Nobody seems to know how to get your brand listed in these suggestions. I’m guessing it’s related to how frequently these brands are searched for in relation to their respective items. It might be nice if there was a "see more brands" option. 

The second new SERP element is only available for certain languages – it’s a virtual keyboard. This is based on an API the company launched last year. Google users using supported languages will find a keyboard icon next to the search box, which brings up a virtual keyboard they can use to enter their query.

Google Virtual Keyboard

Google Product Manager Manish Bhargava says, "Our user research has shown that many people are more comfortable formulating search queries in their own language but have difficulty typing these queries into Google. (Try typing ?????? on a keyboard with English letters.) To overcome the difficulty they face in typing in their local language scripts, some people have resorted to copying and pasting from other sites and from online translation tools. But there’s an easier way — a virtual, or ‘on-screen’ keyboard, lets you type directly in your local language script in an easy and consistent manner, no matter where you are or what computer you’re using."

Languages Google is integrating virtual keyboards with include: Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Basque, Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Finnish, Galician, Georgian, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Macedonian, Malayalam, Mongolian, Persian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Swedish, Tatar, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Uzbek.

Google Making More Changes to the SERPs
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  • http://www.aussiewebhost.com.au Abhishek SEO

    such a great information Chris thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.industrial-computer-systems.com Graham Gallagher


    This is something we will have to incorporate into our SEO applications, thank you for sharing this. This is perfect for when you are selling a brand, but if not how do you go about “creating” your own? And would it be worth the time and effort if it is only a trial?

    LCD Enclosures Global

  • Guest

    Google is going to get in trouble for displaying their own Google products results on top when you search for items. I think they are abusing their power.

    I don’t use Google anymore after over a decade of using them. Their search results are turning irrelevant more and more. Every time I make a search, either Walmart, Home Depot or other big site appears at the top or some real time thing which I don’t care about. I’m looking for info. archived. Now I use Bing or Yahoo. By the way I find more targeted content on Yahoo than in Google. It’s as if Google have dropped many pages from their index.

  • http://us-dating.net Guest

    Thanks for very informative article. For sure I will try the virtual keyboard.

    I just wonder what effect these changes would bring along to the dating business…

  • Guest

    You guys are just link building trolls.

    Chris, why don’t you talk about the major issues going on with the Caffiene roll out? Why is WPN silent on this?

  • http://www.pokerclub.ee/eng Rakeback

    the virtual keyboard thing is definitely a welcomed addition because it’s pretty hard to write chinese on an english keyboard :).

  • http://www.snerdey.com Snerdey

    The whole idea of changing search results, modifying them is in my view just a way for them to get more paid sponsors to compete with all these results ever changing. Constantly having to modify and improve PPC ad’s for example. One will always have to check on Google everyday and increase, modify, change the ad’s including budgets to compete and thus the price goes up.

    It’s like playing monopoly .. just the rules change all the time, so there’s never a real #1 winner as the results are constantly changing. They are not changing these results to make it better for one company. They are increasing the PPC bottom line.

    Anyone else see this or is there a fly in my coffee this morning.. LOL

    Have a great day, don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

    Follow me on Twitter!

  • http://www.78hg.com make moeny online

    No more find in Chinese Google search now, thanks share

  • http://www.suziemay-lingerie.co.uk/ Nick Gonnella

    I think that if the brand results are appearing because they are the most widely searched term with combined with the item then that is a good thing. E.g. if the majority of brand searches for sports gear are ‘nike sports gear’ then it makes sense that nike products should appear at the top of the page with search results for just the term ‘sports gear’.

    Also, I don’t agree with the guest poster who says google results are becoming irrelevant and has switched to bing. I have optimised so many of my own company sites are it becomes obvious that google rewards good quality original content whereas bing seems to place to much weight on keywords being in URL’s and titles. i’ve come across so many competitors who rightly appear nowhere on google for their chosen keywords because they have little content, few links and badly built sites.. And yet they seem to rank highly in Bing because their keyword is stuffed into the URL, title and description.

  • Joy

    Hey Chris why don’t you report on Google’s Caffeine? Tons of good, reputable sites have been dropped from Google in the last two months. Search Googlewebmasterworld.com (the google forum) and the indexing, crawiling forum in Google forums. People are pulling their hair out.

    • Guest

      Sorry, not “googlewebmasterforum” LOL. I meant, webmasterworld.com Here: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4125460.htm

  • http://www.sarkarinaukri.net Sarkari Naukri

    I think most of the seo professionals know earlier that google will do the change as you said. We all know webpronews known for coming trend in web. So feel good to listen from you.. thanks

  • http://seo.onceover.net Guest

    I have a client whose focus is natural pet food and I can see how this can be strategically used for them, but for SEO and general SEM I see the changes as being fairly minor.

    For all those people saying that they are switching to Bing and Yahoo, that’s excellent. However, it doesn’t stop Google from being the primary player. Honestly, I use all three but for different purposes.

  • http://www.cluey.com.au SEO Copywriter

    One advantage of search marketing for small business has been the opportunity to level the playing field somewhat. With established brands featuring so prominently, there’s a good chance Google could knock out some smaller players. Hope that’s not the objective.

  • http://www.muzica-house.ro George Austin

    I don’t think it’s okay to put only some brands on this links. This is a subjective thing, how can Google know which are major brands in a market field? I am sure that this will provoke new contradictory disputes and of course probably law cases.

  • http://www.sportssportinggoods.com Sabiha Siddiqui

    Thanks Chris, for the latest news.

    Seems like it’s going to become tougher and tougher for the non branded small businesses.
    I agree with SEO Copywriter. In not so far future, the playing field may not remain levelled for big and small businesses alike.

    The introduction of a local language virtual key board is an excellent idea. It will help a lot of people whose first language is not English.

  • Glenis

    I may not be important in the eyes of Google but I’m a customer as is everyone else. I’m not necessarily after a ‘name’ brand because I prefer to pay for the product not some fancy overpaid sports star earning 50 mil. Putting name brand stuff at the top of my google is definitely sending me off to another search engine.

    I’m finding Google searches more and more irrelevant and more and more commercial. If I’m shopping I like to visit the little guys too and if I’m looking for information I expect to find it without having to go to page 3.

    Heellllooooo Bing and Yahoo.


  • http://www.evolwebsolution.com/ Alok Kumar

    yes, Chris you are right. But it is impossible to link your website to the big or branded website so it is very tuff task for seo and webmaster. Nice information may it help us to SERPs. Thanks for sharing us.

  • http://www.vasserpro.com Chad

    Google is fantastic in that they are constantly looking for ways to improve the user experience. The good news is that if they find they are getting positive results, then this will become permanent and if they find it does not improve results, they will eliminate it.

  • http://www.northeastindianews.com North East India Newsline

    Hi Chris,

    Its nice to know that the brand name search results in Google SERP. I’ve already tested this and found the tags :)

    I’m also happy to know that multiligual keyboard is now available at Google to type search string in my own language. I’m now able to write in HINDI i.e. my national language.

    Many thanks for sharing this news updates. Hope to receive more updates soon.

    North East India Newsline Team
    Guwahati, India

  • http://www.killercampaigning Killer Campaigning

    Thanks for the great tip. Did a few queries of my own . . . noticed that there were no brand links for search term “shoes,” but there were for term “running shoes.”

  • http://www.billigfergebillett.no Ferge
    • http://www.billigfergebillett.no Ferge

      Crap spelling or not!

  • http://www.RunGoogle.com irfan

    i have a website i-e http://www.RunGoogle.com which is being used Google Web Search .Will it also be available for it as well.

  • http://fiveholiday55.blogspot.com Helen Neely

    I think this is one of the features that most of us have been waiting for. There will definitely more of these sort of features as Google strives to pull away from ordinary search.

    Nice post, Chris.

  • http://www.improve-manhood.com Health Articles Directory

    Thank you for sharing.


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