Google may Stop Including Top Stories in Search Results

Google has made a lot of adjustments to its search engine because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing users to get more accurate results. One change that they have made involves incorporating a relatively new feature called Top Stories. While this feature has become somewhat established, there are still some tweaks and adjustments that Google is making so that it does not obscure organic search results to any extent at all.

A major issue that some people had with Top Stories is that sometimes it resulted in a web page being displayed more than once. If a Top Story contained a search result, users would end up seeing it multiple times which may not be ideal from User Experience standpoint. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Google is attempting to solve this issue with an update that is currently being rolled out which is designed to de-duplicate results.

A public search liaison working at Google by the name of Danny Sullivan has elaborated on how Google plans on fixing this problem. Basically, if Top Stories are being displayed above the search results, a link that appears first in Top Stories will no longer be featured in the rest of the results. If the Top Stories box comes after some search results, though, it will not be de-duplicated since it does not have any bearing on the visibility of these search results and is instead being displayed somewhat organically.

The queries that you put into Google can also have a strong impact both on search results as well as Top Stories. Basically, if your search queries contain keywords that correspond to headlines from news sites, suffice it to say that these sites will obviously be displayed in Top Stories. However, if you put a more general search result in, this would not be the case. It’s all a matter of how Google’s algorithm works and how it attempts to give you the most accurate types of results that you may be after.

One thing to note is that this is not something that Google has only recently started to do. It had already experimented with de-duplication with its snippets side bar. Essentially, it seems that Google does not want certain web pages to be featured more than once due to their search engine user interface. This can help smaller sites obtain a higher level of visibility for the most part which can contribute a fair bit to how egalitarian Google’s search results are since it is important to keep it that way.

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