Bug Or Feature? One Google Search Results For BBC Football

Feb 16, 2012 • 8:51 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Bug Or FeatureThis comes up every now and then but you rarely see it discussed at WebmasterWorld. A search result that leads to very few or a single search result.

A search for [bbc football] in Google UK simply returns one web page result, and it is from bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football. It is then followed by two universal results, including a video result from BBC and a news result from BBC. It is interesting to see something like this, here is a picture:

One Google Search Results

WebmasterWorld administrator, Tedster, said "Seems to me that Google feels the user intention for this query is VERY strongly oriented toward the BBC's coverage of football. I think it makes sense, taken in that context."

Do you really think this is done on purpose or maybe this is a weird Google bug.

I can see the rational for both, but I really doubt Google will limit their ten search results on a page to one or three on purpose.

Is this a bug or a feature?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to Cross The Breeze.

Notice: I am pretty sure the comments below are not from Matt Cutts and are fake.

Previous story: AdWords Forum Upgraded But To A Newer New Version



02/16/2012 02:08 pm

My vote would be for feature. Google don't do bugs, do they? :-) It makes perfect sense given the search intent 'though interesting to compare results replacing BBC with ITV or Sky.


02/16/2012 02:27 pm

At first glance, I would be inclined to call a "googlewhack". However, since we are discussing such a specific keyword and not some generic mumbo-jumbo, it's quite improbable. Moreover, I ran the same query through multiple proxies and it would appear that this one-result behaviour is only specific to UK-proxies. All of this leads me to believe that this is certainly not a bug, but rather a highly interesting local targeting feature.


02/16/2012 02:37 pm

Very strange! I'd be curious to see how many other queries return a similar page layout.  Page 2 for that search appears to be "as expected" though.

Stavros Macrakis

02/16/2012 07:50 pm

Looks like a feature to me, but the summary above is misleading at best.  Google is showing few results on the first page, but more results are available on pages 2+.

Ben Rush

02/17/2012 09:19 am

Looks like a feature and doesn't seem to be solely based on UK results. If you try other Google country results you get various other numbers of results below 10.

Alexander Chalkidis

02/17/2012 11:07 am

It could well be that the BBC actually PAYS Google to produce this result.  It is not often discussed but yes, Google, does accept money to tweak search results.

blog comments powered by Disqus