In a 2008 blog post by Moz’s co-founder Rand Fishkin, I read about the diversification of search results regarding their subject area. And today, Google has only expanded its diversification efforts.
It doesn’t matter where you currently are, if you type the word “veterinarian,” “lawyer” or “mechanic” into the search engine — especially when you add a city to the search term (e.g., “New York City Veterinarian,” “Los Angeles lawyer” or “Prague mechanic”) — you will not get links to the websites of the 10 best veterinary clinics, law firms or car repair shops in a given city. Instead, you’ll see results such as Google Maps listings and some business cards pinned to given locations, catalogs of the institutions you’re searching, encyclopedic references or cross-references to various forums where users ask for a particular service in their city.
By diversifying the results, Google increases the chance that you will find what you need, even though you asked for it in general terms.
Responsible For This State Of Affairs Is What I Call ‘Google Results Diversity’
From my perspective, diversification most likely occurs when Google spits out thematically unified search results because it’s not able to respond perfectly to a user’s queries.
In 2014, Google began using featured snippets (extended descriptions of websites) as one of its tactics for search results ranking. Featured snippets were supposed to help display the best answers to users’ inquiries, pulled directly from the specific websites. After an affair with numerous cases of promoting false or inappropriate content (e.g., “women were evil”), Google started working on increasing the number of responses to search results, calling them diverse perspectives.
And in its next step — direct answer — the company has accelerated the delivery of the results one expects, showing an answer at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), similar to the way a voice assistant might provide an answer. – Read More