Google spidering its own custom search results?

I was doing a little search this evening and found this amongst the results on the 1st page.

I thought it might be something related to me being signed in to a Google account so I signed out and tried again. Same result. So I opened up IE7 and same result.

I tried the same query on Google.com but it didn’t replicate.

Who is this mystery user=016597473608235241540 I wondered, no one it seems there’s a few more of them too. A little site:google.com/coop/preview query reveals just 152 results which in the grand scheme of things is just tiny . The question is however why? Why spider customer results and include them in a SERP however small the sample.

Noindex perhaps? How about robots.txt even

The result page itself has the distance in Kilometres but no link to any defined map or directions/distance page. Just two links to wikipedia – crap really, not a good user experience.

I’m sure there’s a better result out there than this one.

Rob Watts
Kickstart your business today - Get an SEO Consultation or just talk to Rob about your online aspirations. With over 20 years experience in building traffic he's pretty much encountered most markets and scenarios
Posted on: 25th February 2008, by : Rob Watts

22 thoughts on “Google spidering its own custom search results?

  1. Bit of a coincidence time! If you run a site: like http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=site:google.com/coop/cse&start=900&sa=Nthen you will see the extent to which Google indexes CSE links (BTW if you search Google for CSE Links the number one authority is mine!) What appears to happen is that someone makes a CSE then lists at a CSE direcory which gets Google to in effect index the CSE then example searches can be embedded and Goggle goes and indexes them – I think. Google can’t help being stupid! What you will also notice is that many CSEs have PageRank, well they are getting free links from the likes of me and others and I had not noticed this before but it may be worth a little experiment to see how easy these pages are to get indexed, then drop the odd bank link or three on them for a bit of PR juice. I am bit busy at the mo but I will have a further delve at the weekend to see if I ccan find the exact chain of events.

  2. I hear that GM, CSE’s are perhaps one of those things that they could put in the footers of serps as an an additional link option.

    Call me a cynic but I can’t help but feel that it really suits them to have as little space as possible in the SERP real estate for truly organic results. By filling space with local, or maps, coop, or other ‘neat’ little extars theres left to go around for a natural result to be there. Can’t possibly tyhink why that would be though…;)

  3. I agree with robwatts! The more stuff Google puts on a search, the less room there is for natural results. And they seem to do everything they can to encourage you to use Adwords to buy your way to the top. It is extremely frustrating!

  4. GREAT! The Googler keeps giving searchers more choices – it started with the local listings, then videos and now this! Pretty soon it’s going to be a good thing to be at the top of Page 2.

  5. Hi Matt

    It pushes an organic result below it further down the SERP, making that prized ‘free’ real estate all that bit harder to attain.

    If you think of it in terms of a typical Serp hierarchy of

    paid ads > local search > google product feeds > rich media results (youtube)> news results> google coop results (like above) above ‘the fold’ then its a ittle easier to see how and perhaps why thry’d do this, the subtext being PPC reliable, SEO not so.

    A Google for ‘ Google performix and conflict of interest’ might help too 🙂

  6. I can see the benefit to this when there are many more custom search engines, but to be including these now seems a little premature and the possibility for exploitation seems fairly high. All this extra stuff is certainly interesting… I remember when they started including maps in results and my CTR from adwords dropped quite a bit. How long will it be before users don’t know where they are on google and go elsewhere?

  7. Isn’t this another example of Google indexing previously unidexed contmnt like FORMS? Seems they now intend to index everything they can get their hands on and then only apply their own criteria to what should be kept. Basicially, if you put it on your server expect Goggle to go look at it.

  8. exposedseo – I fed Google Alerts back into Google via CARP and they declined to rank them as relevent content! Hey Ho looks like the Left and Right hand servers don’t know about each other. Wonder if there is another orifice to Big G that I can insert their content into?

  9. it’s funny that i just came across this post because just this morning i noticed this phenomenon for the first time. i was searching for the ranking of one of my client’s pages and i see a google.com/coop/ result that basically contained crap content. maybe these pages got indexed by mistake? as soon as i saw this i started to think again about how quickly things can in the search engine world and how you can never see it coming

  10. Heres a slightly different question.

    I watch my page count and the keyword phrases regularly and think I see a trend. Whole chunks of my pages rotate in and out of the SERPS while I make no changes and this happens regularly enough that I think G features differnt filtered interpretations of the same result over time. There isn’t enough time for G to re-index or re-analyse this many pages so I think it is like looking through filters used in various combination.

    Anyone seen this kind of pattern?

  11. @John

    Certainly an interesting observation – you must do a lot of ‘watching’ to notice such a trend! I’m watching the footie and looking forward to the post match analysis!

    Joking aside, you may have inadvertently identified why content is king given that if you give Google some decent size pages and get loads of them indexed then the chances on the big G liking something would probably increase.

    I look forward to others views on your observation.

    G. M.

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