Google Testing New SSSerps?

That’s not a speech impediment, nor a typo in the headline…. It’s a new acronym for our industry: Super Short Search Enginge Results Page.

It appears that Google is once again testing local results in a very abbreviated page. These were first spotted by Youssaf (@ysekand)Β in the UK in September and again by Sebastian Socha in Germany in December but I had not yet seen them reported in the US. The fact that they are still being tested is of interest.

This screen shot was captured last night in a single go and is unedited. Click to view larger:

Here is a second example (although it was longer and is a stitched image):

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Testing New SSSerps? by

20 thoughts on “Google Testing New SSSerps?”

  1. @Simon
    Keep us posted


    Isn’t it all about user experience?

    I was toying with playing with the “snake” angle but resisted the temptation. Harry Potter is hard to compete with. πŸ™‚

  2. Hey Mike –

    Thanks for providing some screenshots on the matter. Now I know I am not the only one who is seeing this.

    I have seen this before and it has happened to me a number of times (somewhere in the 5 – 10 times range) over the past few months. However, I am not ready to chalk this up to a SERP test but leaning more so to the side of an error caused by Instant.

    I have noticed it occurring as I am searching, and instant is keeping pace with what I am typing, then Google wants to suggest a related search element (like at the bottom of both of your screenshots) then the results just go haywire and display the short SERP.

    In all honesty I have not tested this out but am just going on my experience and intuition from interaction with the SERP as it is happening in front of my eyes. Additionally, I can not remember there being any distinguishable consistency to the occurrences to show an intelligible test being conducted.

    Just playing a little devil’s advocate to this based on my experience.

    Next time it happens I will get in touch with you to share the screenshot so it can be added to your collection.

  3. @Matt
    Thanks for the bird dogging.


    And that thought occurred to me (which is also why I used the ? in the title. The fact that google misinterpreted my search made me think that. But the second search didn’t exhibit that issue.

    If it is a QC issue it appears to be quite a large one.

  4. Very frustrating to see google continue to devalue the hard work of many SEOs who get their clients to what used to be considered the first page of google results. These new SSSERPs usually show 1 truly organic result, the #1 poisition. The rest of the page’s real estate is PPC ads, the google map, and google places listings.

    It’s frustrating to see google preach that user experience is it’s #1 goal, but then redesign their first page results in such a way as to only offer google-centered results to their users. Almost a “we know what’s best for you” type of mentality.

    If these types of results become more common this will (in my opinion) be google’s most blatant abuse of their power to date. And that’s saying something.

  5. Notice the bottom of the page correction provided by Google….your search box doesn’t match the actual query you used. Adjusted searches probably are different.

  6. And to think I was the only one seeing this… I usually don’t get overly excited but this recent adjustment (?) lasted for almost 3 days but all seems to be back to normal, as normal as normal can be.

    ps, can we here in the US setup a places account for a business in Canada?

  7. WOW, how did I not ever really notice that pull down? We see things but not really… Thx

    Back to the SSSerps? I’m seeing an almost even split of listings in the 7 pack, verified vs non, with website / without. I’ve sampled numerous verticals and they’re very similar. As much as I dig, the muddier the water becomes. Again no obvious factors or identified trends, and I’m still seeing PO boxes on verified listings, how is that?

  8. Gee I hate to burst anybody’s bubble, but Google is in the Yellow Pages business and you would be too if you were Google. Therefore, think moneitization of the page real estate. As to SSSerps, isn’t this additional data being simply being pulled from the business’s Places page?

  9. I find this really interesting… in that I’m with mktgbill – The only reason I can see that they would shorten the results is to push more visitors through the PPC ads.. but you’d think that this type of change would damage them a bit too much and send a lot of people over to Yahoo and Bing…then again sometimes I wonder if these small things is just Google playing with us and having a bit of a laugh… πŸ™

  10. I am wondering why real estate for sale does not show up on a map of city, as it had been. It was really nice to see where properties were available and click on the orange dot to get listing. Am I doing something wrong or did Google take it away? Thanks…

  11. Still seeing the floating map cover up all those paid ads as I scroll down the page. This was weird in November and it’s weirder now. If Google wants to show more ads per page why would they be covering up the ones they’ve already got? Does this make any sense to anyone?

    Oh well, I never click on those dang ads anyways.

  12. I’ve seen a lot of these in Google UK, and exclusively with Google Instant so far.

    I have Instant switched off completely in one of my browsers and am yet to see one of these smaller SERP listings, but when browsing personally and using instant, I am seeing these smaller SERPs a lot, and on terms that I certainly wouldnt consider brand oriented and are monetisable type terms.

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