From 10 to 7 Google Results per Page?

By Daniel Scocco

It looks like Google is willing to experiment even with sacred elements of search, like displaying 10 results per page. The guys from Search Engine Land and SEOMoz started spotting last week some pages with only 7 results.

Here’s a link to the Search Engine Land article talking about it: 7 Is The New 10? Google Showing Fewer Results & More From Same Domain.

Apparently only 20% of search queries are displaying this behavior, though, and the reason might be connected with sitelinks. Those are the extra, smaller links you get when you search for the name of an authority website. It seems that Google wants to clean those pages a bit, as the sitelinks themselves already add a bunch of extra links.

Another theory is that Google wants to give more value and real estate to authority websites, as displaying only 7 links allow them to dominate the first page for some search queries. Here’s a quote from the SEL article:

Indeed, back in the middle of 2010, Google made it official that in some cases, sites might be able to dominate all the results then expanded this later that year.

Now, it feels like another expansion is happening. As said, that’s not directly connected with the shift from 10 to seven results. But it does mean that potentially that brand sites will have an even easier time than ever before to “push down” negative content.

Google recently covered that it’s been working on changes to both sitelinks and site clustering (its term for how it groups pages from the same site). Both shifts covered may be connected to this. But we’re checking with Google to learn more.

The bottom line remains the same: invest your time and effort into creating authoritative and value-packed websites, as those tend to perform much better over the long term.

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6 Responses to “From 10 to 7 Google Results per Page?”

  • Garen

    Hey Daniel,

    Wow, perhaps they are doing it to combat spam. Google is always going to be changing and thankfully like you I follow SEOmoz to stay one step ahead of the game. Generally, if you are not in the top 1-5 you really won’t be getting loads and loads of traffic. Haven’t seen this much on my end, but will certainly lookout for it. Guess, it safe to say to create good quality sites and Google will reward you. Put out crap and Google will get you one way or another.

    Garen

  • Blogpostproject

    I wonder how this will affect SEOs, since some SEOs have different opinions on whether being on the number 10 result on the first page of the SERPs is better that being on the 1st result on the second page of the SERPs.

    But by the way, this is only applicable to having the first result having sitelinks, those sites that appear 1st that have no sitelinks will still show 10 results on teh SERPs

  • Houssen Moshinaly

    This kind of update have many drawbacks. Yes, you can work darkly to build a authoritative site, but some of this kind of site don’t have a good content. But Google, sometime, penalize the littles sites, even they have valuable content because another so-called authoritative site is his main competitor.

    Between the choice of good content of a unknow site and the one of the autority’s site, Google choose this last producing unexpected results for the visitors.

  • Trent Dyrsmid

    We only hope that Google’s algorithm doesn’t have any flaws. They need to make sure that the sites that are up in the search engines are really the true authority sites even if it’s small or big.

  • Ferb

    This might be benefits to people who actually willing to work. As a content publisher, real information is really important to readers.

    I’m often find myself supporting it but is bad that the content somehow cannot be found on search engine like Google.

    Thanks – Ferb

  • Liam

    Personally i think i prefer the 10 per page set up. Feels easier to use than a 7 per page system. Would over complicate it in my opinion.

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