It’s not often that Google makes interface changes to search results that enhance organic click-through-rate. Last Friday, Google started rolling out a small change which essentially highlights the first result.
The same style box is also used to highlight other rich elements of the search results pages. Google refers to these as ‘cards’ in the Google Now Android app.
When does a ‘card’ show?
This new feature is built on Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, which is a platform or chassis which enables Google to understand context and the relationship between queries better.
What is interesting is that Google will only show the box when it is 100% sure that the result is correct. Therefore, you won’t be seeing it appear on generic search query results such as ‘Why does my face hurt?’ or ‘Why is my cat meowing?’ this is because of the volatility of answers to these questions – there is never a finite answer.
What’s even more interesting is how Google handles brand names which have either; became synonymous to a product or use a generic phrase as their brand name. Such as Hoover or CheapFlights.
I have no doubt in my mind that Hummingbird is always testing. Therefore it will eventually work out that Hoover is a brand name and should be treated as such.