Google Local OneBox Midpage Results?

Last Week, Chris Sherman noted that Google News results are going to start appearing in the midst of search results integrated with other results, rather than above the organic Web results in Google To Integrate News With Web Search Results.

It appears that News might not be the only area that Google is experimenting with. My friend Keri Morgret sent me a screenshot of a local search results page that she received yesterday when checking a nearby beach:

Google Local Search Results Midpage

It looks like it’s a personalized Web search with Google Desktop installed. Is that a difference that makes a difference?

Added (4/27/2007) – I should have caught some of the other changes that Google Local appears to undergone, but I didn’t. There’s a new look – more pins showing on the maps, and new wordings and links in the Google Maps OneBox display. Matt McGee saw this post here, and noticed that there was something different about the map that Google is showing. He details the changes in his post – Google Maps has a new Onebox Display. Good catch, Matt.

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11 thoughts on “Google Local OneBox Midpage Results?”

  1. I was actually blogging about the presence of the local results box earlier this week, though I didn’t use the one in the middle of the page as an example.

    Personally, I’d much rather it fall below the fold than appear at the top where it takes attention away from the sponsored links without decreasing their impressions (meaning a lowered CTR).

  2. Nice post.

    I haven’t seen the local results in the middle of the page before, which is why I wrote this post. :)

    My guess is that it may be an experiment to see if moving from the top does increase clickthroughs for ads.

  3. Good to see someone else getting those results. :)

    I’ve tried a few local searches that show onebox results at the top of the search results. None in the middle. :(

  4. Good post. I have seen that Google favours its own websites on search results…. Is it really pertinent… ?

    In my opinion, sometimes yes, sometimes no !

  5. Handsome Rob,

    When I resize to 1024×768 and remove most of my toolbars (in firefox), only about half of the onebox is above the fold — it gets cut off right in the middle of the B listing for Tides Center Pacifica.

    I get the box in IE and Firefox, with and without toolbar, but obviously with Google Desktop. I run the same search nearly every day (I should bookmark it one of these days), so I have a fair amount built up in history. I’ve gone from no onebox to a onebox at the top of the results (can’t remember if it was the same content) to the onebox in the middle of the results, where it had stayed for the past few days.

  6. Of interest to me is that the search is an “ambiguous” local search in that it doesn’t clearly identify the state or a business name or business type. Perhaps this ambiguity contributes to its placement as well.

  7. A good point, Mike.

    In effect, it’s treating a OneBox local result as a mid-page query refinement, and as you note, the original query is on the ambiguous side in not providing a business name or type, or a clearly defined geographic location.

    I’m not sure that this triggers a change to the way that OneBox results will be presented when a business type and/or geographic location are more explicit. Instead, it seems to be more of an indication that these OneBox results could be served as potential query refinements.

    The writings that Google has done on query refinements describe their ability to try offering results based upon different algorithms, and to change those algorithms quickly – perhaps in response to whether people use them.

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