Only 13% of Google’s search screen displays real results

by Sharon Lobo    Jul 09, 2013

Google Search

In today’s society, which prefers convenience in every aspect of life, it is not surprising the Google has become synonymous with Search. Over the years it has provided such accurate and relevant results, which no other search engine has been able to achieve. Going forward, we would like to believe that these results would get even better. However, the reality is just the contrary.

In a blog post, Aaron Harris the cofounder & CEO of Tutorspree, has explained that only 13% of the Google Search page is used to display the organic search, while the rest of the page is taken up by Google products. These include Adwords (29%). Google’s map with local results (7%) and the remaining 14% is taken up by Google’s navigation bar, which includes notifications for the user’s Google+ account.

Aaron observed the above trend, when he searched for “auto mechanic” on Google, from his New York office by using a Macbook Air 13inch, with his browser size set to “Actual Size.” Harris further explains that the real estate for real search resluts dropped further to 7%, when he searched “Italian Restaurant” as Google decided that this was a local search.

The scariest part of this is that, if you sell something using the internet, regardless of whether or not you see yourself as a “local” business - or think you’re competing with Google - Google sees you as competition.
-Aaron Harris, Cofounder & CEO, Tutorspree

For some time now Google has been integrating the local feel in a huge number of its new products. The latest is the carousel, which is filled with results from Zagat and Google+ local business pages. According to Harris, the for the “Italian Restaurant” search carousel takes a full 30% of the page, while navigation bar takes up 14%, adwords (9%), a map powered by local search (15%), and a Google owned Zagat listing (4%).

Again to get the search more local or personalised, Google would have to actually keep a track of the user’s seacrh behaviour and location to give appropriate results. However, by doing so Google could be invading the user’s privacy. In a recent interview to CXOtoday, Rajan Anandan, VP & MD, Google India explained how Google balances user privacy and providing personalised ad, “We would never do anything to comprise our users or our products. We take privacy and data security very seriously and we give users the choice on how much data they want to share with us.”

Whatever said, Google has gone beyond that just being a search engine, and it would want to promote its other products. But as Harris points outs, if you compete with Google in any way, you’re in its crosshairs and this makes your chances of ranking high enough to garner traffic are getting smaller or virtually nil.