Seznam.cz, a Czech web portal and search engine and the main competitor of Google in the Czech Republic, announced new changes in its search engine last month. The changes are initially being tested in Slovakia where Seznam has launched a new domain Seznam.sk.
What Exactly is Different?
The revolutionary change is the position of the search results. They are not in a linear format but arranged in a chessboard layout. This is a major SERP modification, one that Google hasn’t dared to introduce yet. The SERP is also responsive, meaning that users will get different numbers of results for different devices (desktops vs. mobile phones and tablets).
The screenshots of the websites are larger and the text information is restricted. These new changes will help web pages that are visually appealing and those that Seznam captures well. The screenshots get even larger when the user scrolls over them with the mouse. The importance of the visual side in the new Seznam search engine is enormous.
Different shapes of screenshots have been designed for news and maps. The search results for the news from Seznam appear in a circular shape and the results for the locations are shown in an oval. It couldn’t be easier, could it?
How does the Re-Design Influence the Advertising and Tips from Seznam?
The ads are symbolised by the word “reklama” (advertising) and are in the first row of the chessboard. They are more significant as they have larger screenshots than the rest of the searches and they are highlighted with a grey triangle. The ads are shown only at the top. So will this mean that the advertiser will have to pay more for the advert?
How Might These Changes Affect SEO?
This raises a few questions. How will we know what position is second when the results will no longer appear in a linear list? Would the second position be listed as A2 or B1 if we look at it as a chessboard? How will users read the results?
Seznam states that the changes deal only with the user interface and the design. Nothing has changed in terms of the algorithms that it uses for positioning the websites.
“We know that these changes are quite revolutionary and we will not make them live yet.” said the general director Mr. Pavel Zima from Seznam.cz. He also added that Seznam is not planning to have a dominant position in the Slovakian market, at this point.
The new look Seznam will probably divide opinions amongst users. Some will like the change, some will hate it and the changes might be a big success or big failure. However, one way or another, Seznam has definitely challenged Google by taking a bold step in the design of its new search engine. Will Google follow?
What do you think?
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