As first covered by Malcolm Coles and later confirmed by Google, for search queries that include a specific domain Google is now showing a larger number of results from that site on page one. This gives publishers the opportunity for greater exposure to users looking for content from their specific site (and who may not be familiar with the “site:” search operator). But do the expanded results apply to the embedded news and video listings in the SERPs?
In my results today for the query “Iraq troops nytimes” The New York Times got three Google News results right at the top of the page along with seven organic listings:
However in my results for “Michael Jordan ESPN” USA Today and the Detroit Free Press got the Google News listings:
Only after clicking through on the “News for Michael Jordan ESPN” link did an ESPN article get added to the Google News cluster. Perhaps the other sites have fresher related articles but between free agent news and a “30 for 30” documentary debuting today ESPN does have current content for the query.
Checking another example, the news listing in my results for “egg recall CNN” was for NECN.com not CNN.com although it should be noted that “CNN” appears twice in that article. But CNN did get two embedded video listings on the page, beating out YouTube:
Finally, for the query “mosque near ground zero ABC” NPR and AP got the Google News listings, not ABC. ABC did get one of the video listings with the other going to the Australian Broadcasting Company which also has “abc” in its domain:
[As a side note, I tried to use the query “Islamic cultural center near ground zero” for this example but since most news outlets are using variations of “ground zero mosque” in their headlines I was unable to trigger a news result for it.]
It is important to note that everyone’s Google results are a bit different based on what data center they are hitting, when they do the search, the degree of personalization, etc. In fact even running the same queries 30 minutes later gave me different results in some cases than what is pictured above. So a handful of examples from one individual does not make for a comprehensive sampling.
But based on what I saw today Google’s expanded domain results do not apply to the embedded Google News listings. It does happen some of the time but this looks like a coincidence based on algorithmic relevance as opposed to being by design. News brands seem to fare better with the embedded video listings although I also came across several examples (not pictured above) in which YouTube got both results.
On a related note, it will be interesting to see what impact the new expanded results will have on search referrals to news and content sites. Most newspapers and magazines get a significant amount of natural search traffic from branded queries but queries that combine a specific topic plus a brand are much less common. As awareness of the Google change grows this may impact user behavior; time will tell.
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