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If it ain’t broke, Google breaks it

Earlier this week Google announced that there would be a change in how many of the search engine results are presented to their customers. The traditional look of a result in the SERP’s (search engine result pages) would have a clickable title tag at the top followed by the meta description and underneath the result would be a traditional URL in green that is clickable as well. Now there seems to be a desire to change that up a bit. When I look at the result, I can’t figure out if it’s good or bad.

Here’s a traditional result as shown on Google’s Official Blog:
Traditional Google SERP.png
Google’s contention is that this kind of presentation leaves something to be desired, They feel that if there is a chance to see more of the context that the page occurs in then it will help the user. So, to aid in that context delivery, the new results will have a breadcrumb presentation that will show the user how you might arrive at that page within the site you are seeing in the search results. It looks like this:
New SERP.png
Each of the breadcrumbs is a link to another page.
I like this because Google is trying. But that’s where my liking it stops. I think Google is now starting to look like an engineering company, though, because the VAST majority of people searching for anything on the Internet are not even going to know you can click on just the old URL. They don’t care. In addition, this adds more for someone to think about which is why they came to Google in the first place. They are looking for Google to figure the Internet out for them.
Now, as someone in the SEO industry, I actually hate this delivery. Why? Well, suppose you worked real hard for a client to get a specific page ranked and that site happens to use a breadcrumb hierarchy that Google can incorporate in the results. Now an end user can actually find the page they need but click on a different result that may not answer their question. Of course, as the SEO practitioner, this problem will be put on your desk and it will be your fault.
So, all in all, I think Google is trying to outsmart themselves on this one. I am more interested in their incorporation of real time results from Twitter rather than getting cute on something that, in my opinion, ain’t broke so why are they fixing it?

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