No More Search Results In Google SERPs?

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Google employees are hinting (strongly) that the search engine is being more discriminatory about website search results appearing in Google’s search results. That cross-mojonation, if you will, isn’t what searchers want.

And while that seems simple on the surface – a search result leading to another search result in a vicious cycle is pretty frustrating for most users – it leaves a lot to think about from the webmaster side.

You’ve probably seen what they’re talking about. Danny Sullivan provides screen-caps and a lengthy examination at SearchEngineLand.

The discussion begins with Google’s Matt Cutts, who addresses the situation on his blog. “In general,” he writes, “we’ve seen that users usually don’t want to see search results (or copies of websites via proxies) in their search results… Google does take action to reduce the impact of those pages in our index.”

Cutts recommends adding a “Disallow: /results” to the robots.txt file to prevent the Googlebot from indexing search results. Google updated its technical (e.g., not its quality) guidelines with the following:

Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don’t add much value for users coming from search engines.

Though it wasn’t a clear directive with any clearly outlined consequences, Sullivan argues that SERPs in the SERPs are not high on Google’s list of likeable things.

“[T]he only way they get to a page of search results,” he writes, “is if there’s a link that will generate them.”

“Practically no one links to our search results. But now thanks to the new Google guidelines, out of the blue, I have to go block off the /fastsearch area or potentially be seen as spamming Google. What a pain.”

There are instances when search results count as legitimate content, and it will be interesting to see how Google separates one SERP from another. Sullivan goes on to call the new policy a "can of worms" for shopping comparison sites especially that pop up in a search for, say, DVD players.

While there’s no official policy yet, webmasters wouldn’t be stretching too far to think that it soon will be.

No More Search Results In Google SERPs?
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  • Anonymous

    Finally, I have been bitching about this for years.

    • Mike McDonald

      Let the debates, conjecture and paranoia commence.   I agree that results in results isn’t the greatest thing maybe… 

      But I gotta go along with Danny on this one.  

      The headaches, controversy and panic this kind of thing invariably causes in going to pretty much suck.

       So who – is all of a sudden- going to find themselves in violation of Google quality guidelines?

      And, more importantly, what does that mean exactly?

      A filter?
      A penalty?
      A banning?
      A supplemental tag?

      Speaking of which…  Good example: just look at the ruckus supplementals caused…. this could be lots worse.
      So,  what does this do to the value of ‘the link’?  I’d guess this means that inbound links from search results pages are less valuable now?

      So it devalues the link from a search result page
      …unless you’re google of course.
      To what end?  What’s the big benefit?

      Is this going to eliminate/reduce the effectiveness/proliferation of spammy adwords link directories?

      What am I missing?

      What’s wrong with the results of this query:
      "dewalt hex bit"


      The first result goes here:


      Clearly a search result returned as a search result… 

      Why is that a bad thing?


      Michael McDonald Managing Editor iEntry, Inc.

  • Daily News

    What is the difference between a search results page and an RSS feed?
    Daily News allows websites to add our RSS feed to their pages. Is google trying to reduce the number of pages in its index?

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