One Really Annoying Search Result at Google

Filed in Google by Matt McGee on March 3, 2008 7 Comments

Over at SEOmoz yesterday, Rand shared a collection of six weird and wacky Google search results and invited readers to share more in the comments.

I don’t think mine counts as “weird” or “wacky”, but it is annoying. When you do a search for [U2], this is what you get:


The band’s official site just got sitelinks for the first time, and what used to be the indented second link now stays in the No. 2 position as a non-indented, regular listing.

Is that really necessary? How about once you get sitelinks, you lose the ability to have a second listing on page one? You know, just for the sake of variety and all.

(FWIW, the same thing happens when you search for [small business sem], and I think that looks bad, too, even if I’m getting the extra spot in the SERP.)

Comments (7)

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  1. sheseltine says:

    The ones that irritate me the most are those that both display as a sitelink, and as an organic listing. It’s not just that you’re getting extra shelf space, you’re doubling up on the click potential of a page, and is that ‘about’ page really that valuable for a searcher?

  2. Eric Lander says:

    This is incredibly frustrating — perhaps it’s something that we should respond to via the “Dissatisfied” link.

    I love when you see this behavior in addition to the ten other links on the bottom of the SERPs labeled as “Searches related to: (query)”

  3. Linda Bustos says:

    Yeah, I noticed when entering a friend’s business in Google yesterday that all the sub-domains were also listed individually (main site, forum, blog etc). I thought Google was going to treat subdomains like sub-folders to reduce the amount of sub-domains that appear in serps. Has that supposed to have taken effect already or did they change their mind?

  4. rishil says:

    Well I agree from a users point of view it can be annoying, but from a search merketers point of view isnt it a dream come true?

    We all try to capitalise our real estate on the SERPs, especially with blended search, and I would hold on to that one with dear life 😉

  5. Sure but this has much more to do with a websites internal linking and Google’s inability to handle websites linking to the same page 1-2-3 different ways. Really has nothing to do with Sitelinks at all. The problem is totally separate.

  6. Matt McGee says:

    @sheseltine – That’s actually the situation I have on a search for “small business sem”, and it doesn’t look good as an objective observer.

    @Linda Bustos — Good question. I don’t know the status on that.

    @rishil — it’s not a dream come true when the competition gets the extra real estate. 🙂

    @incrediblehelp — I know why it happens, but I’m saying it shouldn’t. Once you get site links for a given phrase/query, they oughtta be able to turn off that domain for the rest of the top 10.

    Great comments, folks – thanks so much,

  7. PinkCakeBox says:

    Matt Cutts addressed this behavior in one of his comments. I find it hard to believe that people are missing sitelinks, but google claims their tests show otherwise:

    Hart and Jean-Luc, you asked why we still show a second result from e.g. even if we show Sitelinks for at the #1 slot. That is intentional (not a bug), and the reason is that some people don’t notice the Sitelinks. We’ve done lots of UI tests to make the Sitelinks have the right amount of visibility, but showing a second result helps in those cases when people don’t notice the Sitelinks, which does happen.

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