Search is a constantly dynamic space, and more evidence of this can be found on the new results pages for the No.2 engine in the market, Bing. Marketers at Webmasterworld picked up on changing numbers of results present on Bing SERPs for various queries. In some cases, marketers reported as few as eight results on page one, while others found more than 10 organic result links.
While the shift won’t necessarily change the order of results, marketers should consider the increasing value of winning top result spots through content-driven SEO to ensure they remain on page one – regardless of the number of answers provided.
The shift from Bing comes shortly after reports that Google is reducing the number of results on page one for as many as 17 percent of queries. SEOmoz first noted the Google SERP change, and it seems that brand searches with site links and image searches (both of which give more real estate to what could be deemed single “top 10” results) have a strong correlation with queries that produce seven links.
For Bing, on the other hand, there is no detectable pattern yet regarding which queries produce deviations from the standard 10 results.
Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land quotes a Bing spokesperson as saying, “We experimented with the number of answers for several months last year … In cases where there are answers (like a photo or video or news answer), we may provide a few more links to ensure there is [the] right number of algo in addition to the answer blocks.”
Brafton has long reported that Bing officials say they are trying to move away from ten blue links, and that’s clearly taking effect.
Here’s a search for “waterproof mascara” that produced more results than Brafton was wable to capture in a single screen grab, including more than 10 organic results, image results and a lot of ads and “related search” suggestions: