Just as the NFL season kicks off and you have your fantasy football league ready to go, you’ll be able to get useful information such as the latest scores, schedules, standings and stats for football-related queries in your search results. Last week, we started showing MLB results in partnership with ESPN and we’re now expanding sports live results to include the NFL. In addition to information on the football league, teams and players, you’ll also have direct links to previews, live streams, updates and game recaps. We hope to add more and more sports information on, so stay tuned.

Snippets—the few lines of text that appear under every search result—are designed to give you a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to your query. This week we started rolling out snippet improvements for pages that contain lists; results for these pages will now reflect the structure of the page, rather than just showing two lines of text.

If a search result consists mostly of a structured list, like a table or series of bullets, we’ll show a list of three relevant rows or items underneath the result in a bulleted format. The snippet will also show an approximate count of the total number of rows or items on the page (for example, “30+ items” in the screenshot below).

This change to snippets will be rolling out globally over the next few days. Over time we’ll keep making more snippet improvements to better reflect the content of our search results, making it easier for you to find the most relevant results.

Posted by Raj Krishnan, Product Manager

(cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

Over the past few years, we’ve released a series of blog posts to share the methodology and process behind our search ranking, evaluation and algorithmic changes. Just last month, Ben Gomes, Matt Cutts and I participated in a Churchill Club event where we discussed how search works and where we believe it’s headed in the future.

Beyond our talk and various blog posts, we wanted to give people an even deeper look inside search, so we put together a short video that gives you a sense of the work that goes into the changes and improvements we make to Google almost every day. While an improvement to the algorithm may start with a creative idea, it always goes through a process of rigorous scientific testing. Simply put: if the data from our experiments doesn’t show that we’re helping users, we won’t launch the change.

In the world of search, we’re always striving to deliver the answers you’re looking for. After all, we know you have a choice of a search engine every time you open a browser. As the Internet becomes bigger, richer and more interactive it means that we have to work that much harder to ensure we’re unearthing and displaying the best results for you.

Posted by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow

Editor’s Note: Today's guest author is Chris Jason from the Digital Media team at ESPN. With baseball season in full swing, Chris is writing a guest post to announce an improvement to baseball related searches with the help of data from ESPN. Like our search team here, Chris’s team is passionate about helping people find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily, whether they’re watching on TV or searching online for the latest sports news and scores. For more about ESPN, check out their Front Row blog, and stay tuned as we work to add more data from sports providers to improve your sports related searches.

For those of you who don't spend your day writing code, let me get the nerdy backdrop out of the way: microdata is a way to describe something – for example a person, event, place, etc. – through special use of structured HTML5 tags and properties in a Web page. This information can be used by computer applications – like a search engine or Web browser – to create a richer experience for users. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, no worries. I promise this will make sense by the end.

At ESPN we’re always looking for ways to reach and serve sports fans in better ways, and we know they aren’t always on or watching our television programming. As a manager in Digital Media my job is to use technology to reach, excite, and surprise those fans. For example, we have teams like our Stats and Information Group, who collect and produce as much accurate, timely sports information as they possibly can, and we’re always looking for ways to connect with people who otherwise might not see the great information we uncover.

ESPN Digital Media has been experimenting with microdata for a while and discussing internally the idea of creating a set of sports microdata. So, we worked with Google to create a series of sports-related microdata that include athletes, teams, leagues, and games. The idea is to apply meaning to the code in our content using microdata, in order to create a richer experience for users when ESPN webpages are displayed in Google’s search results. While this is a work in progress, we’re working with Google to standardize the format so that others can make use of this technology going forward.

Now, when you use Google to search for baseball-related information – such as teams, players, and scores – the results display high-level athlete information, stats, game scores, and links to key content on, including game previews and recaps, video highlights, photos, schedule, and roster information. You will also be able to interact more easily with some of ESPN's key products like GameCast, scoreboards and player pages.

Going forward our team is planning to create microdata-enhanced results for other sports like football, basketball, hockey, and soccer.

To all you sports fans out there using Google, we hope you’ll find that we've made it easier to access the sports information you're looking for and that you enjoy the new experience.

Starting today, when you search for music, you may see songs that are available for you to play in the snippets of certain search results. Up until now, it’s been easy to find information about musical artists, such as their biographies, pictures from the latest awards ceremony, or recent related news items. However, it’s been comparatively harder to find audio recordings of an artist’s songs. When you’re looking at a results page, it’s not obvious which pages will have songs or samples of music that you can listen to.

We've previously introduced rich snippets for reviews, video, and events to help people determine more quickly if a particular webpage has the information they're interested in. Today we’re introducing rich snippets for music. Now when you search for an artist or album, certain sites that have implemented the new rich snippets markup for music will show up to four songs in their snippet on the results page.

The snippet will display the name of the song, whether it’s audio or video, the duration of the clip, and the album it’s from. Even better, the song title itself will act as a link to the site’s specific page for that song, so that if you know you just want to hear one particular thing, music rich snippets can get you straight there.

Content providers looking to have their sites display music rich snippets can take a look at our blog post on the Google Webmaster Central blog explaining how to get started. The rich snippets testing tool will allow you to test your markup and see how it would appear on Google.

We hope that this will be the first step towards making audio content easier for you to find and easier for sites to surface. You can currently see audio clips on the results page from several partners who have used the rich snippets markup for music, including MySpace, Rhapsody and ReverbNation. For instance, if you search for [gipsy kings] or [kelly clarkson], you’ll see some of the songs they have available to play right there on the results page. We’ll continue to work with more content providers to make sure you can always find the music you’re looking for.

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

When you’re searching, you often have a specific task in mind, like figuring out which exhibits are showing at a nearby museum. Despite this narrow goal, people often start with a broad query, like [metropolitan museum of art], with no mention of exhibits. For these searches, the first result may include a list of links to specific sections of the site, which are called “sitelinks.” Today, we’re launching several improvements to sitelinks, including the way they look and are organized in search results.

Sitelinks before today’s changes

Sitelinks have been around for a while, but when we first launched them years ago, they were much more limited—a single row of just four links:

It turns out that sitelinks are quite useful because they can help predict which sections of the site you want to visit. Even if you didn’t specify your task in the query, sitelinks help you quickly navigate to the most relevant part of the site, which is particularly handy for large and complex websites. Sitelinks can also give you a good overview of a website's content, and let webmasters expose areas of the site that visitors may not know about.

As it became clear how valuable sitelinks were, we continued to improve their appearance and quality. We rearranged them into a column of links to make them easier to read. We doubled the number of links, creating direct access to more of the site. We started showing sitelinks for more results and we continuously made improvements to the algorithms that generate and rank the links. With each of these changes, people used sitelinks more and more.

That brings us to today’s launch. Sitelinks will now be full-size links with a URL and one line of snippet text—similar to regular results—making it even easier to find the section of the site you want. We’re also increasing the maximum number of sitelinks per query from eight to 12.

Improved sitelinks with URLs and snippet text

In addition, we’re making a significant improvement to our algorithms by combining sitelink ranking with regular result ranking to yield a higher-quality list of links. This reduces link duplication and creates a better organized search results page. Now, all results from the top-ranked site will be nested within the first result as sitelinks, and all results from other sites will appear below them. The number of sitelinks will also vary based on your query—for example, [museum of art nyc] shows more sitelinks than [the met] because we’re more certain you want results from

These changes will be rolling out globally over the next few days in all supported languages to anyone using a modern browser, such as Chrome, Firefox or IE 7 and above. We hope these changes make it easier and faster for you to reach the information you need.

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog and Chrome Blog)

Almost every time I go online, I come across some new topic or item that I’d like to learn more about. Sometimes it’s as simple as the latest buzz on the new shop down the street. Other times it’s something more significant, like a counterpoint to an opinion piece I’m reading. While the answer can be just a simple search away, we wanted to find a way to get some of those answers to you even faster. Now with Google Related, a new Chrome Extension and Google Toolbar feature, you’ll automatically see interesting content relevant to what’s on the page you’re viewing, right where you’re viewing it.

Whether you’re reading a news article, shopping for a new pair of shoes or visiting your favorite musician’s website, Google Related works in the background to find you the most interesting and relevant content on the topics you’re currently viewing. For example, if you visit a restaurant’s website, Related can show you a map, reviews from Google Places, mentions from across the web and other similar eateries that you might want to try.

Results will display in a thin bar at the bottom of your screen, and will remain minimized until you hover over them with your mouse. Once selected, they'll open up immediately in your browser window, saving you the trouble of having to open multiple new windows or tabs. If Google Related shows you something you’re interested in, you can let others know using the built-in +1 button.

In order to offer you relevant suggestions, Related sends the URL and other available information about the pages you visit back to Google. If you’re interested in how that data is used and stored, you can learn more here and here.

If you decide you’d rather not see the Related bar, you can easily hide it for specific pages and sites through the Options menu. If you use Related as part of Google Toolbar, you can disable Related entirely through the Options menu as well.

Google Related is available both as a Chrome Extension in the Chrome Web Store and as a new feature in Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer. Visit to learn more and to get Google Related today.

Back in 2009, we launched Google Social Search, and we've made several improvements since then. And earlier this year we made an update which let you get more information from people you're connected to on other publicly available sites. Today, we're including public Google+ posts as well. So if you’re signed into your Google Account, your search results may start including posts shared publicly by people you’re connected to on Google+.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say I’m logged into my Google Account, and I search on Google for [uncle zhou queens]. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this restaurant, and we’re visiting NYC soon, so we want to figure out all the best eats in town. I also happen to have Andrew Hyatt in one of my Google+ circles. Oh, and it turns out he just made a public post on his Google+ account about Uncle Zhou in Queens:

So here’s how that will show up on my results page for the query [uncle zhou queens]:

Cool! Now not only do I get some great reviews on the web, I get a review from a friend about a restaurant with recommendations about what dishes to order. My mouth is already watering...

Remember, to experience this updated feature, you’ll need to be on Google+ and also make sure that you’re logged into your Google Account when you search. In addition, only public posts on Google+ are visible in search results. Private posts on Google+ aren’t.

We’re rolling out this update over the coming days. This is just the latest step in helping you find the most relevant information possible, personalized to your interests and the people you care about. To learn more, check out our help center. May your searching be tasty!

(Cross-posted from the Webmaster Central blog)

For many months, we’ve been focused on trying to return high-quality sites to users. Earlier this year, we rolled out our “Panda” change for searches in English around the world. Today we’re continuing that effort by rolling out our algorithmic search improvements in different languages. Our scientific evaluation data show that this change improves our search quality across the board and the response to Panda from users has been very positive.

For most languages, this change impacts typically 6-9% of queries to a degree that a user might notice. This is distinctly lower than the initial launch of Panda, which affected almost 12% of English queries to a noticeable amount. We are launching this change for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, where we continue to test improvements.

For sites that are affected by this algorithmic change, we have a post providing guidance on how Google searches for high-quality sites. We also have webmaster forums in many languages for publishers who wish to give additional feedback and get advice. We’ll continue working to do the right thing for our users and serve them the best results we can.

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

I’ve been working with Matt Cutts and Ben Gomes in the same office for over 10 years. We work on search every day, and earlier this week, we took our office talk to the stage at an event hosted by the Churchill Club. Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan moderated our in-depth discussion on search, how it works, and what’s ahead for us in the future. We also reminisced about first joining Google, the time my car ran out of gas as Ben and I discussed a change to the algorithm, and other great memories over the years.

Come sit inside our office for a chat about Google Search:

  • To hear more about the principles that drive changes to the algorithm and how these changes are tested and implemented, go to 15:40
  • To hear the discussion on why we don’t hand-pick results, start watching at 41:04
  • For more on my vision for the future of search, jump to 1:12:28
  • Guess who Danny thinks is the brains, looks, and brawn of this operation, and check it out 1:08 (hint: I’m the brains).

During our Inside Search event in June, we announced Instant Pages, which helps you skip the extra seconds spent waiting for a page to load and get to the answers you’re looking for faster with webpages that load instantly.

Instant Pages uses new prerendering technology that’s available in Chrome, and will be enabled by default in the newest version of Chrome, released today.

When we can predict with reasonable confidence that you'll click the first result, Instant Pages will begin loading the webpage early. By the time you click on the result, the entire webpage will often appear to have loaded instantly. Take a look at this side-by-side comparison:

Try Instant Pages today by downloading the latest version of Chrome.