Google: Bringing Sci-Fi to a SERP near You

- November 3, 2008

You have probably seen this appear on the search engine results pages (or SERPs) and wondered how your site might go about getting one.   Several months ago Google introduced a search feature it calls “teleporting.”   This feature came as a result of observing that search engine users generally don’t use a site’s URL, but instead enter the site’s name into the Google search engine and use the result at or near the top of the SERP, to get to their destination.   It’s this activity which Google refers to as “teleporting”.   As noted in the Official Google Blog, one of the trends they noticed was that many searchers would issue another, more refined search after their initial site name query.

Based on this behavior, Google determined that their users didn’’t always want the homepage of a website, but rather a deeper level page on the site.   For better searching, Google introduced teleporting, a search-within-a-search marked by the placement of a search box in the results (usually below the Google SiteLinks)   that will let users search within that particular website.   Following is an example for a search on “NASA”.

Figure 1: Example of Google’s Teleport

As shown in the image above, a search for “NASA” not only shows the main homepage link, and the eight Google SiteLink results (Google analyzes the link structure of a site to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for), the result also shows a secondary search box.

Previously, the link text “More results from »” would appear beneath the Google SiteLinks for a particular result on their SERP.   As of March 2008, the “More results…” link beneath the NASA listing has been replaced with a version of the Google SiteSearch box.   As to how, when and most importantly for whom this SiteSearch box appears is something decided entirely by Google.

As Google stated in their Official Google Blog, “This feature will now occur when we detect a high probability that a user wants more refined search results within a specific site.   Like the rest of our snippets, the sites that display the site search box are chosen algorithmically based on metrics that measure how useful the search box is to users.”

Is there a way for your website to be considered for this search box?   Perhaps one of the best ways is a tried-and-true method of search engine optimization, or SEO: create useful, relevant, keyword-rich content and add this content to existing pages on your site, as well as adding new pages of content.   The more relevant and keyword-rich information you have on your site, the more likely it is that site visitors will search for this information.   If this content is on deeper level pages, site visitors could use more refined searches in Google.   These searches will help for the Google systems to determine if your site is one that would benefit from a refined user search.

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