Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Google News Integration Expands

Search Engine Land recently broke the news that Google will be starting to integrate Google News results right in the middle of web results. The old style is that Google News results sit on top of organic result as so-called onebox, but this change is about to move the news cluster (and a new thumbnail) to other positions on the page: top, middle, bottom, or anywhere else where there’s currently 10 organic results. “This allows us to rank news according to relevance in search results rather than at top of the page,” Search Engine Land quotes Google’s Marissa Mayer. Because many of us can’t see this live yet (myself included), Barry Schwartz posted a couple of screenshots.

What’s noteworthy about this more dynamic Google News onebox integration is that it also further blurs the line between organic and (more or less) fully automated web results, and editorial or semi-editorial results. Google always emphasizes their web results are aggregated in completely algorithmic and objective fashion, but all 10,000-or-so US Google News sources are hand-picked, and manually monitored by Google employees (not the stories themselves, but the publications behind the stories).

If this onebox integration into organic results continues, we might be able to see other special results – like blog results, for instance, which are currently below the traditional web results – move right into the organic results as well.

[Photo Creative Commons-licensed by Barry Schwartz.]


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