Google Testing Commercial Results Mixed With Organic Results
Interesting article in ClickZ News - -> http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3528611
It appears that Google is doing some heavy testing on mixing commercial results in with organic results in the SERPs. From what Google is saying...,"the results are not paid listings, saying the demarcated results are a search relevancy experiment."
OK...to see what we are talking about...
Perform a search on "on demand" (without the quotes) in Google and you will see that positions #6 - #8 are segmented out and show pages from Comcast.com (Google deems these as "commercial results"). However, Comcast.com also appears in the organic listings in the #30 postion...oops...the #31 position...oops...the #29 position. Ah...the ever-flux...Jeff and I are comparing our results from two different machines and it seems to vary (I am sure that we are querying different data centers)
This is totally boggling our minds! How does Google determine that Comcast.net should be served up in the "commercial" results and not network websites like Starz!, Cinemax, TMC, etc.? Jeff and I believe that it must be based on Comcast.net's impressions to click-through rates for that keyword phrase. That is IF Google is trying to serve those results based on relevancy.
We know that these listings aren't paid...unless Google is breaking the US FTC's guidelines on disclosure of paid content in SERPs - http://www.ftc.gov/os/closings/staff/commercialalertletter.htm
We agree with Levin and Lee...this could have a major impact on the way we optimize websites.
Eager to see how this unfolds!