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Those ‘indented’ results in Google searches…

Google results for a search on 4-20mA aerospace widgets


When we get ‘indented’ results from our sites in Google searches, as in the example above, the instinctive reaction is to think how good it looks. But what’s actually happening?

It’s a combination of two things. One (good) is that clearly Google is very happy to give our site significant screen space for this search. The other (possibly not good) is that it can’t decide which page to show.

Now, I’d take this impressive presentation any day of the week. But… could it be that Google would like it even more if we combined the pages into one?

What is a ‘host group’ anyway?

Google calls these results a “host group”, defining that as “two or more consecutive text results from the same site that are grouped together because they are ranking for the same query.” It continues: “Consider if you want people going to one of these pages instead of the other, and setting that one as the canonical.”

I think any decisions about this need to be on a per-case basis. I’d only combine the pages (a) if there was significant scope to rank more highly in the search results, and (b) if the two pages being returned really were doing the same thing.