Google Unveils The Source of Search Results Pages in Its index

Author: Gab Goldenberg

And it isn’t Google Analytics, as I mistakenly thought. So I need to apologize to Google (and to you, my readers) for the error/false accusation and getting people worried for nothing.
Even more humbling, both Matt Cutts and the official Google Webmaster Central blog have called yours truly’s site “high quality.” So let’s see …

  • Matt Cutts intervenes early at Sphinn and in my comments here to clarify that Google Analytics wasn’t at the source of these new items in Google’s index;
  • In followup explanations by email, he shares where those site SERPs were coming from;
  • Matt & Google provide a public explanation of what’s really going on, thus joining the conversation rather than ignoring it and hiding away
  • Matt and Google compliment me/ SEO ROI (!) for having a high quality site worthy of this fancy treatment.

How’s that for reputation management? (Incidentally, on a prior occasion it took Matt about a month to get back to me on something, so it looks like they’re improving 🙂 .)

A little while back I wrote about how I thought Google was indexing site SERPs for those sites that had Google Analytics tracking site searches. In effect, I mistakenly accused Google of leaking Analytics data into its index. I had enabled site search tracking and my friend Brian had too, and we were both seeing these site search results pages turning up in Google’s SERPs. Thus we were worried about the integrity of our data.

As it turns out, Google’s experimenting with a new form of discovering deep content on “high quality” sites. Whereas content hidden behind forms and javascript was once inaccessible, Google is now testing out new ways of discovering and crawling it, including performing limited numbers of site searches [and indexing the results].

Read the full explanations at Matt Cutt’s blog and the more technically detailed explanation at the official Google Webmaster Central blog.

Oh, and if you haven’t already, don’t you think it’s time you subscribed?! Consider that prior to the loud-titled “Google Analytics Is Leaking…” post, I had actually written about the topic over a month earlier! If you pay close attention to my blog, you’ll learn/discover nuggets of information waaay ahead of everyone else!

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  1. Gab, I have been telling people for your years that Google is NOT evil. They may indeed be secretive at times (as they should be with competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo) and they are most definitely focused on making money. In the end though, they think long term and they know that they need to 'not do evil' if they plan to play long term. This is an example of that (and example of how smart you are to discover it early). Always give them the benefit of the doubt. I've yet to see a scenario from Google that I thought was rooted from evil. Note: I am not saying you think Google is evil. I am just stating that many people jump to conclusions with Google. KUDOS on the mention from Matt Cutts, that's huge! Also, highly respect your public apology. Class act! Brent D. Payne

    Comment by Brent D. Payne - April 12, 2008 @ 7:26pm
  2. For my years or for your years or for four years? He, say that ten times fast :D. More seriously, I'm concerned about Google having too much power. See here: Also, how about the Chinese censorship? L444me. My apology is for unfairly accusing Google and possible causing an undue panic amongst a limited number of webmasters. Not for my opinions about Google's power. As to Matt, he's the real class act. And FYI, despite my vehement criticism of Google, I have a lot of respect for Matt and certain other Googlers.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - April 13, 2008 @ 12:40pm
  3. Well I am glad you fished that out Gab - quite an interesting development . RE: Google not Evil Nope they are a business like any other, only more creative and fun. But that doesnt mean that they dont look at the bottom line look at the whole scenario in UK where they have after years of protecting brands did a 360! Going to cost people oodles of money -- and I am surprised that announcement didnt boost their share prices ;)

    Comment by Rishil - April 14, 2008 @ 7:34am
  4. Rishi, if they did a 360... they're doing the same thing as they were. I think you mean a 180 ;). Geometry aside, I don't know how meaningful it'll be for their bottom line (though UK affiliates are rejoicing I'm sure...) since competitors bidding (and or ranking) on your trademarks don't see great conversion rates, in my experience. And I've also had the good fortune to be involved with large gov't entities that had lots of traffic for the trend to meaningful, and the trend was the same there.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - April 14, 2008 @ 7:22pm
  5. Far out... I just discovered a bunch of high-bounce (100%) traffic in my GA account, which looked like MY INTERNAL SEARCH RESULTS being indexed in Google!! First thing I thought was the GA Search Tracking... so I g-search "google indexing my search results page" and I find this blog post 7th from the top of the first page (it's a fairly broad set of keywords with a fairly abstract context)... so not bad, I found this page, this info... ...and this answer! Rad!

    Comment by Sweet... - August 24, 2009 @ 1:50am

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