Posted October 1, 2009 10:12 am by with 5 comments

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Give it another couple of years and no one will remember the phrase "ten blue links"–especially if Google has its way.

The Google search results page is already looking cluttered these days–box results, news item, videos, book results, profiles–now Google wants to add deep links to forum posts to the crowded mix.

This new addition to Google search results applies to sites that tend to have a large number of posts on a specific topic. When several different discussions on a site are relevant to your query, we indent them under the primary result and include the date of each post.

Here’s an example of how it will look:

Now, I know that Google doesn’t roll out anything that adds clutter to its streamlined design, unless it has been rigorously tested and proved valuable, but I wonder just how much more Google can cram in. How much more content can it add to search results before it goes too far–and gives us so many options that we get overwhelmed?

  • Looks to me like Google gearing up for Caffeine and adding as much social media content as possible. It will be interesting to see how what comes up on the serps gets shifted when all of these different plugins really come into play.

  • It’ll be pretty interesting to see how ratings are effected when Caffeine rolls out. If the forum post results don’t make things too cluttered I think they’ll be very helpful.

  • Aaron

    I have been seeing the described effect for weeks, so I guess I was targeted for the beta testing through my Google ID. (I don’t recall if I saw the links when I wasn’t logged into one Google product or another.) So far I’ve found it to be quite useful, and it doesn’t seem to take much more real estate than what usually came before – the principal listing with a single, nested listing from the same site in standard format.

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