Related Results Showing at the Top of SERPs???

Are we all enjoying the Google roller-coaster over the last couple of months?

Places nightmare?

Deep page prominence?

And now we have Google pushing the organic results even further down the priority pile, showing related results at the top of the SERPs just below the sponsored listings!!

This was carried out using Google Chrome Incognito window

related search terms

Not only are they showing the terms but they are breaking it up into ‘Brand’, ‘Stores’ and ‘Types’. This is going to have a serious impact on anyone ranking for the broad term perfume.

We have also seen the above on the keywords ‘flights’ and ‘cars’ , however we didn’t snap it and it went away 🙁

It shows real intent by Google to steer people away from spammy results and direct them to the brand/product specific terms.

Roll on 2011!!


is the CEO of Branded3 a Search Marketing Agency in the UK. Tim has over a decade of experience in Search and regularly speaks at key events and conferences.

15 thoughts on “Related Results Showing at the Top of SERPs???

  1. I observed this about two weeks ago when I searched for the broad term cellphones.
    This is just another example on how much Google is determined to promote brands and clear the cess pool of the internet.

    However similar SERP is not displayed in case of narrower terms.

  2. Google is about getting the best content to the right searches. And it certainly does so, it’s clearly developing, and now with Google instant, organic search results will be even more powerful.

  3. I am noticing the same results for the term “computers”.. interesting indeed,
    Sad for the people ranking in organic results especially the 3rd and 4th rankings being forced down the page. So now the trick is becoming popular enough to get shown in the brand section. Do you know how google generates the brands to be shown? Is it through places, keyword search volume etc?

  4. Thanks for the information.

    Those ‘related’ positions look pretty powerful. I wonder how Google decides on what constitutes a brand for a given search term? In fact how does Google decide on what is a ‘brand’ anyway?

  5. Hi Neil,

    Google branding is a mystery, however if you’re a brand offline it’s always a good start.

    Recent research has shown us that a number of factors could be used to establish who is a brand and who isn’t, anchor text, mentions and even use of ppc could all provide information that a website is a genuine business or brand. How these relate to rankings is the mystery, however I am sure it won’t belong before some one fully cracks the code.

  6. Hi Aaron,

    No one is sure as yet, but I would presume it is closely linked with the ranking algorithm, external links, internal link text and overall relevance.

  7. But doesn’t this “just” mean that we should stop focusing on the broad phrases/words and instead get our rankings of for the more specific terms? Sure ranking for “perfume” might bring a lot of traffic but it has to convert poorly.

  8. Mikael,

    Ye I think you’re right, I think targeting long tail traffic is always the best strategy, however having said that even though broad term conversions are low, you usually get that much traffic that it still drives huge amounts of sales, I know this because I work with multiple websites that rank for these terms and if they lost their rankings on the broad terms it would put their business in trouble.

    I guess the idea moving forward is to target lots of long tail relevant terms but focus all off page efforts on creating a brand. This is exactly what Google wants, to stop people investing in link building on broad terms and instead create a quality resource and turn it into a brand.

  9. do you think a contributing factor of which brands show up in the related search is because of how people search and it has nothing to do with any seo effort?
    for example a high volume of searches for ford suv , ford compact car, ford hybrid car and so on would tell Google that ford is a popular car brand.
    also this would be more in the realm of traditional marketing to get people to actually search for their brand + keyword , that they want to be in the top of the search engines for a related brand Serp.
    does this make sense to you?

  10. Hi Brent,

    The related searches in this instance were not on a brand search, however I am sure if people were to search ‘ford SUV’ then Google may show ford as a result for the broad term ‘SUV’. I do think traditional PR and marketing compliment SEO and help add trust to your site. We have noticed many times that websites that have an off line marketing strategy always seem to perform better when getting to grips with real SEO, whereas sites with no off line presence can sometimes struggle.

    This of course depends on the industry but if you have the budget traditional marketing is a big help.

  11. I assume that it combined with many factors, semantic + anchor text + link profiles + content. This is really interesting that Google able to categorize the website perfectly fit into Brands, Stores, Types. I try with “toothpaste” , i been analyse for Colgate, their SEO performance quite doing well for this vertical.

    Related searches for toothpaste:
    Brands: Crest Colgate Aquafresh Sensodyne Aim
    Stores: Target Walmart Meijer Walgreens CVS
    Types: whitening sensitive kids tartar control baking soda

  12. I like the way Google is going. I use Google for personal use and if I can get to the data, product or service I want that bit quickly then all the better.

    I have to presume my clients customers want the same and carry out SEO and marketing to suit the customers needs. If we do it right we should do well in Google and other search engines.

    At least we keep getting challenged by Google, nothing like a job that becomes stagnant.

  13. It’s really interesting and I think we’ll see more of it in the future, I am presuming Google are using Google base to pull in this kind of info.

  14. This is a change I have no problem with as it supports brand building.

    SEO will always come down to fundamentals like content, links, mentions and general popularity, it’s the techniques to do this that constantly change, it’s great… sometimes 🙂

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