A WebmasterWorld thread noticed that when Google returns sitelinks for a search query, Google will then follow with six additional search listings - making for a total of seven search results.
There have been times when Google would show less or more search results, but never this consist. I.e. it happened before with bugs. But now, if you search for something and Sitelinks show up, it seems like in every case, Google will show a total of seven results, as opposed to ten results.
Here is a screen shot of a search for [ted drewes]:
Google sent a comment to Search Engine Land that reads:
We're continuing to work out the best ways to show multiple results from a single site when it's clear users are interested in that site. Separately, we're also experimenting with varying the number of results per page, as we do periodically. Overall our goal is to provide the most relevant results for a given query as quickly as possible, whether it's a wide variety of sources or navigation deep into a particular source. There's always room for improvement, so we're going to keep working on getting the mix right.
Maybe that is why so many people saw ranking fluctuations around August 16th?
Yes, this seems to be mostly about navigational queries but is this better for the searcher?
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.