It is hard to imagine that the famous blue links of Google will end up disappearing, but it is indeed what promises to be small steps.
Blue links are currently the main source of information available to the user in the SERP, although SERP features offer more quickly accessible information. However, Google applies more and more to offer answers that meet the real needs of the user and not only the searched keywords.
This is something that blue links are not able to do.
Google blue links, what are they?
As a search engine, Google gathers the organic results obtained following a query and then presents them as blue links in the SERP.
Thanks to this presentation, the user obtains several proposed answers to his request. All he has to do is click on a link to visit the page concerned.
However, while the SERP as it currently stands provides answers, it does not fully meet the needs of users. It is not viable in its current way of presenting itself.
To better understand, the current SERP can be likened to a business trip. You go to a city for a specific mission. You are not there to discover the marvels or the history of the city. Once the objective is reached, you leave the city.
The information presented to you does not go beyond the content of the page you are visiting.
The search engine does not offer additional information, guides or topics to explore. To sum up, we can say that the organic results of local SEO agency promote the search for knowledge of Internet users.
Google’s vision of its search engine
Google’s objective is to offer relevant and quality content to enrich the knowledge of its users. However, the current presentation of the SERP and blue links does not properly promote this.
Google admits this with the notion of “search as a journey” which means that users are looking for a global understanding at different levels. But in reality, acquiring information and knowledge is like a rhythmic experience, not a journey.
Google is therefore going to have to change the way the SERP and the blue links present themselves.
To achieve Google’s expectations, the SERP should resemble a universe rich in discoveries. It should take the form of an ecosystem for which the requests of Internet users would act as access points. Of course, any query should open the door to the immense knowledge available.
How should the SERP look?
By looking more closely at the way the SERP presents itself, we realize that it does not promote exploration.
This configuration using blue links with SERP features refers to a very linear knowledge path. The user therefore moves from one answer element to another without really going into any of them.
Google offers quick answers. Even with the Knowledge Graph, it doesn’t offer a real possibility to explore the huge library that it is.
Let’s take the example of a celebrity to schematize the thing, for example Oprah Winfrey.
The Knowledge Panel summarizes the character through two presentations:
- it provides general information in the overview tab
- It offers other sources relating to the entity, in particular via the Videos and Films, Books, TV Program tabs.
Wikipedia addresses this same entity in a completely different way:
Instead of presenting resources related to the entity, Wikipedia goes further and offers a dive into the different facets that make up the Oprah entity. It sweeps across his entire life, from his childhood to his current life, including his journey, his influence, his investments and his impact on his society.
Of course, Google can do all of this.
It is even able to segment a topic to facilitate its exploration in the SERPs. We can also notice it for the “Coved” query.
The problem is that blue links and SERP features are still not enough to drive full, dynamic, and differentiated crawling. But all this could come with the arrival of Google MUM.
Google MUM, a new search experience in Google
MUM, Multitask Unified Model for Model Unified Multitasking in French is the new version of the Google algorithm, future replacement of BERT, the current algorithm.
Google MUM is advertised as being 1,000 times more powerful than the current search engine.
The algorithm would be able to understand and interpret the meaning of an audio file, an image or even a video.
Its greatest asset is its ability to understand and better identify the hidden intention behind the user’s request. This means an algorithm that understands the user and a SERP that integrates different types of media to provide the most relevant information to the user. The SERP will certainly not be what it is now.
In the idea, MUM will analyze the different aspects of a search topic or query to come up with segmented information. It will try to predict the different contours of the request as well as the user’s needs.
Instead of displaying a page with a list of 10 blue links talking about the same thing, the SERP will have to go deeper. It will have to give users the means to explore every aspect of the information displayed.
Currently, for the query “going to a football match at the State de France”, Google displays results leading to official ticket sales sites and some additional information on the matches taking place at the State de France.
With Google MUM, the information displayed could offer more possibilities and also address other aspects such as:
- Coved-related restrictions,
- the entrees,
- the question of catering,
- the safety of spectators on site,
- The possibilities of finding accommodation nearby, etc.
This is what the SERP could look like in the near future.
Let SERP du future
Google MUM will likely provide strong topic segmentation including multiple media formats.
The SERP will then offer an overview of different categorized themes, much like a broader version of what it is doing there for “SEO Company”.
Results pages must evolve beyond simple segmentation by theme. Each category should be re-segmented to support full exploration.
Imagine a SERP with all kinds of videos categorized. If we take the example of the player David Beckham for example, there would be videos of his interviews, videos of him while he was playing at university, etc.
The SERP of the future would be much more interesting if it presented in addition to blue links organic results, all kinds of links addressing a variety of topics, themes and sub-themes, with content in different formats. Obviously, it will obviously not consist of a simple listing of results from 1 to 10 on a page.
A giant leap hard to take
For many years, Google has been tirelessly testing new features to make its SERP more attractive to the user.
His decision to move from BERT to MUM clearly shows the dissatisfaction that emerges from the SERP as presented today. However, it’s hard to let go of what has fetched billions for a never-before-seen futuristic SERP. Let’s face it, the blue links have worked for a long time and continue to work, well, since there is not yet a better one. However, the current SERP does not realize the full potential of the search engine.
The question is no longer whether Google will change its current SERP. It is clear that MUM, the new search engine from Google, will bring big changes. The real question is therefore to what extent Google will allow itself to overhaul its emblematic search engine.
Whether he chooses to go in moderation or decides to rebuild his SERP, one thing is certain, it will not be a drastic change. Rather, we should expect gradual change as Google incorporates new technologies into its algorithm.