This post by Graywolf made me notice something interesting going on in Google. If it is a new feature it’s a very subtle way to implement it – nobody knows what’s going on if you just stumble into it one day doing your searches.
Graywolf suspects it to be a handjob by Google but I’d like to speculate there’s something more to it. There is a tendency I have noticed: if yu enter your search query in the for of a question (like humans normally talk and ask about things), you are likely to get results different from regular search queries. In Graywolf’s case, it was a link to a Wikipedia article. In my case, I asked Google “what is SEO” and this is what came up:
Looks interesting…. So is it something similar to definition search? To compare the results, I searched for SEO – just one plain word… the SERPs didn’t have any definition links this time, just regular SERPs.
Regular, are they now??? Not really!
That SEO Chat is #1 is nothing new or surprising. What’s surprising, however, is the set of links to SEO Chat’s internal pages Google’s displaying. What might that mean? No other site in the SERPs has that. no other query I tried shows anything like that for any other site. Search for web design or banking, what happens? – Just regular SERPs….
This is becoming really misleading, Google. If anything is displayed as AdWords ads it has the caption “Sponsored links”. If there are news for the word searched for it has the caption “News” and so on. SEO Chat has none of that – just an additional set of links that can’t be explained by anything I see on that page. Maybe Matt Cutts would care to comment?
UPDATE: Matt Cutts has commented on the issue, since my comments are broken here is his reply (yea Matt, I know I have to get to fixing them asap…)