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Non Traditional Surprises in Search
Google is known for playing around with Search Engine Results Page (SERP) formats. They routinely test combinations to enhance user experience (and AdWords profit). Earlier this month they changed who appears “In The News” box with some startling and non-PG rating contributors.
Let’s start with the good news. As a content creator, you now have a chance of appearing at the top SERP results via “In The News” box. In the past, traditional news sources (e.g., NY Times, Associated Press) dominated this area. Now all you gotta do is create content that’s deemed newsworthy. Here’s what a Google spokesperson had to say:
We will be pulling from all over the web which means that we will present as diverse a range of voices as possible to ensure we get users to the answer they are looking for… That might come in the form of a video, press release, a blog, a photo, a social media post or news.
Besides more contributors to the news box is an “In-depth Articles” section. You’ll notice at the bottom of the page.
Foul Play In The News Box
You can see screenshots of a “TSA” search where a website shows up with… well, let’s just say this site is not a fan of the Transportation Security Agency in a Search Engine Land article. Some “colorful language” appeared in search even with Safe Search turned on. As you can imagine, there were a few complaints. Plus, news publishers were none too happy as they lost web traffic to sources like Reddit, Twitter, etc.
I suspect the In The News box will undergo some additional SERP tweaks. Even so, it’s heartening to see that websites who strive to create quality content may get a leg up in organic search.
What do you think of this latest change to the In The News box?
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