Google Instant Answers: Rich Snippets & Poor Webmasters

This is a pretty powerful & instructive image in terms of “where search is headed.”

It’s a Yahoo! Directory page that was ranking in the Google search results on a Google Android mobile device.

Note the following

  • the page is hosted on
  • the page disclaims that it is not endorsed by Google
  • the page embeds a Google search box
  • the page strips out the Yahoo! Directory search box
  • the page strips out the Yahoo! Directory PPC ads (on the categories which have them)
  • the page strips out the Yahoo! Directory logo

Recall that when Google ran their bogus sting operation on Bing, Google engineers suggest that Bing was below board for using user clickstreams to potentially influence their search results. That level of outrage & the smear PR campaign look ridiculous when compared against Google’s behavior toward the Yahoo! Directory, which is orders of magnitude worse:


Bing vs GoogleGoogle vs Yahoo! Directory
editorialUses user-experience across a wide range of search engines to potentially impact a limited number of search queries in a minor way.Shags expensive hand-created editorial content wholesale & hosts it on
hostingBing hosts Bing search results using Bing snippets.Google hosts Yahoo! Directory results using Yahoo! Directory listing content & keeps all the user data.
attributionBing publicly claimed for years to be using a user-driven search signal based on query streams.Google removes the Yahoo! Directory logo to format the page. Does Google remove the Google logo from when formatting for mobile? Nope.
adsBing sells their own ads & is not scraping Google content wholesale.Google scrapes Yahoo! Directory content wholesale & strips out the sidebar CPC ads.
search boxBing puts their own search box on their own website.Google puts their own search box on the content of the Yahoo! Directory.
user behaviorGoogle claimed that Bing was using “their data” when tracking end user behavior.Google hosts the Yahoo! Directory page, allowing themselves to fully track user behavior, while robbing Yahoo! of the opportunity to even see their own data with how users interact with their own listings.


In the above case the publisher absorbs 100% of the editorial cost & Google absorbs nearly 100% of the benefit (while disclaiming they do not endorse the page they host, wrap in their own search ad, and track user behavior on).

As we move into a search market where the search engines give you a slightly larger listing for marking up your pages with rich snippets, you will see a short term 10% or 20% lift in traffic followed by a 50% or more decline when Google enters your market with “instant answers.”

The ads remain up top & the organic resultss get pushed down. It isn’t scraping if they get 10 or 20 competitors to do it & then use the aggregate data to launch a competing service … talk to the bankrupt Yellow Pages companies& ask them how Google has helped to build their businesses.

More: continued here


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