One Box Showing up More on Big G?

Mike B. writes about how the “authoritative one box” is showing up with greater frequency these days on Google vs. the so-called 10-Pack. Mike’s example for “computer repair” in Las Vegas:

Picture 151

A similar search in San Francisco still yields the 10-pack:

Picture 152

Curious, strange, unexplained . . .


11 Responses to “One Box Showing up More on Big G?”

  1. Tim Cohn Says:

    Similar result albeit different vendor for the plural query “computer repairs las vegas”.

    Think this rules out optimization or spam.

  2. Mike Bunnell Says:

    It’s certainly tough to guess the login behind this. If the onebox listing rotated, it would perhaps make more sense.

    And why is there no “more results” link below the onebox as there is below the 10-pack?

    My guess is that Google is expanding the serving of these oneboxes in order to gather more data on how they perform. There is obviously some algorithm behind determining when a listing should be authoritative for a particular query, so perhaps they are playing around with that algorithm to see how various factors perform. In other words, they have increased the weighting of one some ranking factors in this market, so more queries are producing onebox results. They can then measure the interaction level with that onebox; if it is lower than the average onebox, then the ranking factor that they are testing should carry less weight in terms of triggering a onebox result.

  3. Understanding Google Maps and Yahoo Local Search Says:

    Often it shows up on the service + city or city + service search but not the service + city. st…

    Often it has to due with the ambiguity (in google’s algo’s minds eye) between a business name search where Google does want to show a one box and a general search.

    There has always been this tension between these two types of searches but for some reason still unknown the balance has shifted toward the branded search and away from general search result.

    I too find the absence of the “more results” link on the Onebox disconcerting. It reflects Google’s supreme confidence in the value of the result and precludes the admission that maybe they did it wrong.

  4. Understanding Google Maps and Yahoo Local Search Says:

    Interestingly while SF computer repair is not showing the Authoritative OneBox the search San Diego Computer Repair is,

  5. Understanding Google Maps and Yahoo Local Search Says:

    On another related note, it is of interest in Greg’s example how many local businesses are willing to give up any local branding for a chance to compete in the 10-Pack by renaming themselves:

    -Computer Repair San Francisco
    -San Francisco Computer Repair
    -Full Service Bay Area Computer Repair

    40% of the listings removed all traces of their actual name. Ah…the power of the 10-Pack to change the world. 🙂

  6. Greg Sterling Says:

    That’s too bad in a way.

  7. Mike Blumenthal Says:

    Yes it is unfortunate and very short term but it is a “social phenom” in response to the inordinate value in ranking that Google is placing on business name.

    It is also likely to be provide short term benefit.

    However the new result is a much more generic local world.

  8. Greg Sterling Says:

    Mike: In a way it’s the same as a company naming itself “AAA plumbing” to get to the top of the alpha list in the print YP book

  9. Mike Blumenthal Says:

    Yes it is similar but Google has an ability to amplify and to some extent distort on a local, national and int’l level.

    Currently it is so very easy to game the system that many do so with no cost but time and some ready monetary rewards. Thus you don’t get just one Computer Repair San Francisco you get 4 (actually 5 but one left part of his name).

    In the end the businesses loose, the customer looses and Google looses if everyone is named the same.

  10. Chris Silver Smith Says:

    As I noted on Mike’s blog, I think the defaulting to a one-box is possibly a temporary transitional condition, maybe related to Google’s upcoming launch of Caffeine into production, or else it could be research testing just as Mike Bunnell theorized earlier in these comments.

  11. Greg Sterling Says:

    Agree that it’s not a good trend

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