Google Suggest Direct Links

Over the past couple of days there has been alot of chatter about the changes to the Google Home Page. These include:

  1. Enlarged Font in the search box.
  2. CSS Search Buttons (fancy).
  3. An enlarged text field for searching.

Now those are nice enough updates -  I wouldn't call them earth shattering as they are not likely to change the way a searcher interacts with Google.com. If a change in the Google UI changes how a web searcher (read: potential customer) finds sites then it can significantly affect the traffic generated to your website.

The newest change that we have seen over here at Honeypot Marketing is the addition of URL's into the Google Suggest Drop Down while you type in a search. Check out these screen shots:

Direct Links in Google Suggest

Direct Links in Google Suggest


More Direct Links in Google Suggest

"Amaz" triggers Amazon.com - slightly presumptive.

"Amaz" triggers Amazon.com - slightly presumptive.

We have not seen this until literally about 10 minutes ago and we are constantly checking the Google UI and SERPs as part of our day to day work.

This is a significant update as it can lead to your web visitors bypassing a Search Engine Result Page all together.

This makes a #1 ranking even more significantly important for your business (depending on your point of view). Please post your comments and/or screenshots if you have them!

Additional Observation: This seems to be triggered inconsistently and is triggering domain name matches rather than any kind of semantic or meaningful match. We could be wrong but that seems to be the case at this moment.

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11 Responses to “Google Suggest Direct Links”

  1. Aaron Bradley September 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Thanks for this, missed it. That I missed it is in itself revealing – as it only is triggered for certain domains. You’d think that a query for a valid domain – whatever.com – would show the linked site, but it’s very hit and miss. And, of course, as per your example, is triggered on occasion just by a partial match without a .com appended (e.g. “amaz” triggers a link to Amazon.com. Will be interesting to see how/if this feature evolves.

    • Dan Nedelko September 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

      Agreed. It certainly is not happening on every query. You are correct, I just confirmed “amaz” does bring up Amazon. That seems awfully presumptive doesn’t it?

  2. Bing Leong September 10, 2009 at 9:37 pm #

    Interesting but certainly nothing new for Google to force feed what they think we want rather than what we might actually be looking for.

    For me I think Google has seen the writing on the wall and are trying a lot of different things in an effort to try to remain top dog but most of these things are more self-serving than actually beneficial to the public.

    I don’t think Google displays enough respect for web properties not owned by Google and it is only a matter of time before we, collectively, grow tired of being told what we “should” do to stay in their good graces.

    Case in point; during these hard economic times I am sure there are a lot of small websites out there that could use a little extra revenue that could be generated from selling links.

    While Google can’t actually stop you from selling links, their threat of de-indexing domains from their data centers that do sell links, works pretty well as an effective stop. If you earn money from selling links then that money isn’t going into Google’s pockets and that is just seemingly wrong, wrong, wrong to Google.

    Strange how people wouldn’t accept this kind of behavior from their governments but are perfectly willing to accept it from a corporation – go figure.

    • Dan Nedelko September 10, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

      I definitely agree with your arguments re: paid links. That’s always been a hypocrisy that Google has never been able to really explain away. When you’re the big kid on the block then you can do what you want, particularly when you have a brand as strong as Google (ie: “Do No Evil” and everyone buys it lock, stock and barrel).

      The real point of this post is the effect that a Google User Interface decision has on how users will interact with the Google Search Engine and ultimately on your site. How does Google determine which direct links appear in Google suggest?

      Is it really the *most* relevant search result?

      Looking at some of the examples, I’d have to say it definitely is not.

      • Dan Nedelko September 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

        Agreed. It certainly is not happening on every query. You are correct, I just confirmed “amaz” does bring up Amazon. That seems awfully presumptive doesn’t it?


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