Google Referral Change Linked to Faster Search Results Experiment

Google Tests AJAX Results for Small Percentage of Users

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This week, it was announced that Google was making changes to search referral URLs. Basically, where URLs looked like this before:


They will start looking more like this:


You can read a bit more about that here. Web technologist Niall Kennedy suggested that this was probably a change being made to better track search actions and shield URL parameters from sites downstream.

Alex Chitu at the blog Google Operating System had a different and frankly, more interesting theory, which is that it is a solution for the lack of referral information in a future Ajax interface.

Matt Cutts recently explained in the following clip that Google was testing AJAX results on a small number of users to open up potentially faster searching capabilities. Listening to him discuss how this would affect analytics puts the URL changes a little bit more into perspective.

Chitu’s theory was confirmed when a Google spokesperson told CNET that this was the reasoning for the referral URL change. "These guys are working hard to make things milliseconds faster. They’re always experimenting," the spokesperson said.

In the above video, Cutts says the experiment is only available to less than 1% of Google users. Basically what it does is loads search results without loading the entire page each time a new search is performed. Milliseconds indeed.

Google Referral Change Linked to Faster Search Results Experiment
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  • http://www.westcoastvinyl.com/windows.html West Coast Vinyl

    I guess its good for the propeller heads and regular joe consumer.
    propellers wants to see # to comprehend, and Joe consumer want to see more in laymans term, sort of..

  • http://blog.hichamaged.net/ Hicham Maged

    AJAX! This sounds rational because GMail already go ajaxed sometime ago so if we are talking about search loading in milliseconds, that sounds interesting. I wonder about spammers as usual so let us wait and see what’ll happen!

  • http://www.program-afiliasi.com Afiliasi

    I think is such a great news for SEO master to make the site simple and fast.

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