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Yandex Launching “Interactive Snippets” & SERPs Redesign

Matt Cutts, in a new video answering the question “Why does Google continue to present multiple results from one domain on a search result?”–said that Google is “soon” launching a change that involves “once you’ve seen a cluster of about four results from a specific domain name, the subsequent pages are going to be less likely to show you results from that domain name.”

Cutts further explaining said the goal is to strike the right balance between offering diverse results but at the same time returning the best and most authoritative search results for the query.

History for domain clustering within Google:

  • No restrictions in the number of results per domain name–turned out to be a bad thing.
  • “host clustering” prevented more than two results per domain name to be shown in the Google search results. Hoerver, webmasters placed content on subdomains to get around this feature.
  • Google expanded the clustering to show a max of 3 or 4 results per domain, instead.
  • Google then changed this to show more diversity on the first page of results but show less diversity on the secondary pages. So you’d likely not see more than two results from the same domain name on the first page, but you can see several results from the same domain on secondary pages.

At an online industry conference in Moscow, Yandex presented a new concept in search engine results pages named as “Islands,” that described as “Interactive Snippets.”

The new “interactive snippets” enable webmasters and publishers to coordinate their own on-SERPS interactions with users which are fully controlled by their own sites. And, the features will launched in a few weeks in Turkey, followed by Russia.

In addtion, Yandex is also rolling out a new SERPS look and feel to accommodate the visual needs of the interactive snippets.

Yandex Interactive Snippets and new SERP design

The interactive snippets are publishers dependent “marking up their content or alternately adding features to Yandex’s newly expanded webmaster tools console.” Yandex CTO and co-founder Ilya Segalovich said, “Publishers need to bring up to speed their Web-based activities to a level of usability delivered by apps to achieve an alignment of the Web and mobile worlds. Sitelinks are an outdated way of doing this and rich snippets are mere decoration.”

Adding, “All our user research shows they are incredibly impatient and some will leave a search results page in less than half a second if we don’t deliver what they want. By enabling them to start filling in contact forms, book appointments or get directions directly from the SERP, we get them hooked into the process more quickly and help them start their journeys much faster,” Segalovich said.

The snippets can require a more expanded use of schema.org markup; but, Yandex believes that facilitating a rapid start to the user’s journey directly from the SERPS will improve user satisfaction and conversion rates.

Segalovich further notes, “At no point are we taking control of these interactions from webmasters. They can add and remove them at will and we will respect their wishes at all times. We do not own these interactions, we merely create a bridge between search and visit where the interactions can begin.”

He also confirmed that no ranking preference would be directly given to publishers who deploy the interactive snippets but because Yandex includes user behavior as a signal including click through rates, if the snippets proved attractive they could provide an indirect lift to adopters.

The new features are available at beta.yandex.com.

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