More threads by JeffClevelandTN

Apr 1, 2021
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I apologize in advance, kind of flipped a coin on whether to post this as a Discussion or Question.

Has anybody else been noticing the change in how some of the Google organic results are occasionally displaying with one of the SERPs having directly below it, an indented result with a second result from the same website?

We started noticing on our automated ranking reports, more of our clients having multiple SERPs on page 1 for the same search term(s). It seemed like more than coincidence, so I searched for something similar to "google search indented results" and came up not too many articles:
Google indented results — How to get them and what they mean

Not a whole lot of details though, seems this is kind of something that was last seen over a decade ago?

Typically I would have expected some type of article in my newsfeed for such a significant change. Maybe I was asleep at the wheel? Is this a permanent change or just being tested out? The crazy thing is that the secondary (and sometimes tertiary) result is counted as one of the ten (10) Page One SERPs, so it is fantastic if you get one or two of these indented results because it is eliminating one or two of the competing SERPs on Page One. Maybe not so great if a competitor's indented result pushes you below the fold or off of page one.

Would really like to hear feedback about this from other people. Is there a "term" that is being used to describe this new SERP?

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Haven't seen it myself yet. Lily Ray was asking about something she noticed about it today:
Thanks Yan for sharing this. I'm seeing it with increasing frequency. Will be interesting to see if others will reply with their findings. I'm curious to know what factors are used by Google to determine the likelihood of earning an indented result(s).
FWIW, on mobile for an identical query, the order of the results is the same but any "desktop" indented results retain their SERP on mobile but don't have the indent. Prior to the indented/nested results showing up, at least for our clients, this wasn't a traditional secondary page one result however it "displays" that way on mobile results.
Found an instance for one of my clients yesterday. Interesting that the both of the (internal) pages were previously already ranking reasonably well for the query, one at 10th spot another at 15th. Now, the result displays the 10th spot result with the other page as an indented 11th.
Found an instance for one of my clients yesterday. Interesting that the both of the (internal) pages were previously already ranking reasonably well for the query, one at 10th spot another at 15th. Now, the result displays the 10th spot result with the other page as an indented 11th.
Thanks Yan! It is interesting, at least for me, the majority of current searches I perform have at least one indented result. I really appreciate your feedback, I'm surprised that other members haven't chimed in as this is a pretty huge deal on how it affects the ten SERP "blue link" results.

I'm not sure exactly how to "earn" these indented/nested positions as perhaps it is too new for any published findings? In my limited research there appears to be some validity to other's anecdotal findings that internal links to/from the respective pages may play a factor. I'm experimenting (carefully) with a handful of clients to see if I can influence this new type of SERP. It won't be a formal case study by any means, but hopefully may shed some light on possible factors. Thanks again!
I don't have time to check further right now, but if you have any indents displaying for your pages and you are able to check what those two pages were ranking at before, it would be nice to know the separation they had before they got linked. Like in my post above, the pages were only four spots apart for the same keyword previously.

I think this may impact potential content cannibalisation issues as well since Google no longer has to choose the best of two similar pages, it's just putting them both together now.

If I had time to test, I would create a page that is very similar to another existing page to see if the new page gets indented to the one that is already ranking.
Thanks Yan, great advice. I've already done some research similar to what you suggested and my results are not that clear cut. If it is for example, a very specific search phrase, the first result showing on page one might be the dedicated page we created for the intended query but the 2nd indented result may be the home page which didn't rank previously (i.e. not on page 1 or 2) for that query. For the limited research I've done, it seems to be almost a freebie 2nd page one result. I'll definitely be looking at it further and recording my findings, to see if it is impactful or not.
@Conor Treacy this is the thread I was referring to. Would like to hear if you've been seeing these type of SERPs and if you have any thoughts/comments. Thanks!
Yeah, I've been following along on this thread. I'm not seeing the extra indent on the main accounts I use, but will fire up some of the others and see if any trigger it. Currently, I'm just an observer :(
Annnddddddd.. I'm back :)

So I was able to trigger the indent on several searches and I know I've seen these results before, but didn't pay too much attention to them for whatever reason. I believe this all relates back to the "Diversity Update" from June 2019. Here's some tweats on that -
Essentially, too many results from the same place, so Google then generally only returned 1 result per domain, but may choose an additional if there is not enough results, or the post/page is very relevant to the searcher.

The indents, like I said, I know I've seen this before, and different from a normal Site Links indent. When I search for our company name, without quotes - Big Red SEO - it returns with the sitelinks and then LinkedIn gets two listings, one of which is indented.

It counts, as @JeffClevelandTN mentioned as "A Second Page One Freebie", so if you can get it, that's great :)

Most of the searches that I've been able to trigger the results for have had less than 10,000 results, but I was also able to trigger it for 205,000 results.

Here's a simple search I ran; I pasted this into Google (with the quotes for an exact match) - "how to make a website backup on siteground in 2021" - a VERY specific search query.
Google returned "no results found for xxxxxxx" and then showed the "results for xxxxxx" (without quotes)

On the results page, SiteGround, which we would expect to see, took position 0 with a snippet, then position 1 with 2 and 3 indented.

Another query, again with quotes on the query for "house cleaning in Jacksonville fl", gave me 2 results from "" in the #1 and #2 spots (#2 was indented) but also YellowPages in #7 & #8 spots gave #8 an indent. The query itself had only 2,810 results - again, an exact match with the quotes. Removing the quotes and it's a free for all with 14.7 million results and no indents.

I also was able to trigger the indent on the 2nd page of the SERPs, but not the 3rd page.

Here's another for @Yan Gilbert as an example. Search for "yan gilbert localU" (without the quotes). and we get Twitter in #2 and Twitter Mobile in #3 (indented), but further down the SERPs, #6 is taken up by Images, then #7, #8 & #9 are all Localu links, with #8 & #9 being indented.

So from what I can surmise, with my very little testing, is that it's for very specific queries or queries that don't have a lot of results.
Most of the searches that I've been able to trigger the results for have had less than 10,000 results, but I was also able to trigger it for 205,000 results.
Hey Conor, what great research and feedback! I wouldn't have thought of associating the indention to the quantity of search results, very sharp of you to approach it this way.

I'd say you are probably on to something. However, if this was part of the diversity update, it may have backfired as in many cases it is reducing the number of blue link results from other sources by pushing them at a minimum further down the page or even to the 2nd page as the blue link results are still limited to ten.

Also interesting is that I got differing indented results when searching for "yan gilbert localU" when signed into a profile versus incognito.

Be nice to know what factors Google uses to include an indented result, it could be used as a strategy to push competitors further down. We selectively use the FAQ schema for our client's higher ranking SERPs to occupy more screen real estate, but the indented results do even better by occupying more real estate, lowering the SERP of the result below it, and potentially pushing a competitor result to a less desirable location on page one (i.e. below image carousel, below rich snippet section, etc) or even push them to page 2.

Again, thanks @Conor Treacy. This is why I love this forum, such great people sharing their time and talent!
Hi @dgrunited, you may have overlooked but I had already included the link you mentioned in my original post.

This particular blog post (on mostly talks about how the layout of page one results have changed and why the indented results are impactful. Regrettably, the author's statements for "How to tweak your posts to score indented results" are not substantiated by any authoritative evidence or references. The suggestions are pretty much standard SEO best practices but again lack evidence on their direct impact to the indented results. Her findings seem to be very anecdotal, for example: "Another thing I noticed is that these pages [ranking within an indented cluster] link to each other."

Lastly, the author states "Note that you should however try to rank within the first page as the indented results don’t yet appear beyond that" which is not accurate. As @Conor Treacy mentioned earlier, the indented results do appear on page 2. For me, that particular statement by the author is bothersome as it is inaccurate but also, isn't it always the goal to rank within the first page :unsure:.

What the author does do well is show plenty of indented examples, provided some practical everyday SEO objectives, and reinforces why indented results are impactful. However, I tend to be very speculative of articles that are written in a very authoritative manner but provide no references or sound evidence to justify their claim.
Interesting example linked from the article, not sure why it was not included as a screenshot, but Google is indenting from subdomains as well.


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