Google's Super Bowl ad search results are not the same as actual results… but at least better than Bing


If you are not from the search marketing industry, you already know that rankings fluctuate. They change over time and this is were SEO companies use ranking reports checking how rankings change over time, looking at the trend and seeing the benefits of these ranking improvements in terms of traffic, conversions and ROI. Knowing that ranking change all the time due to different factors such as personalization, geographic location, all sorts of Google One-Box algorithms, Google Subscribed Links, Image Search, Video Search, Real Time Search, the search engine results page (SERP) may always look different from two different people. So I decided to check last Google commercial that was aired during the Super Bowl. This is actually not a new commercial, it was uploaded by Google online on YouTube last November 19, 2009 and many people in the search industry already knew about this commercial. A full set of all their other video commercials can be found on YouTube’s Search Stories.

I took a deeper look into the search results and replicated each search query to see how these results were different from the actual results below:

Google Results for: Study Abroad in Paris France

Google Super Bowl Ad Search Query: Study Abroad in Paris France
Google Super Bowl Ad Search Query: Study Abroad in Paris France

Results here not not much different, the top 3 sites were still the same, the differences were in indented results. Since StudyAbroad.com had 2 more indented listings, it occupied the top 3 spots. See results below:

My Google Results for: Study Abroad in Paris France
My Google Results for: Study Abroad in Paris France

Google Results for: Cafes near the Louve

Now the next query is interesting, only 1 site is similar:

Google Super Bowl Ad Results: Cafes near the Louve
Google Super Bowl Ad Results: Cafes near the Louve
My Google Results for: Cafes near the Louve
My Google Results for: Cafes near the Louve

And with the wrong spelling, after clicking on the Did you mean link, local one-box results also differ. And this is an interesting one, not a single one is the same.

Search Query: Cafes near the Louvre Paris France - Google Super Bowl Ad
Search Query: Cafes near the Louvre Paris France - Google Super Bowl Ad
Search Query: Cafes near the Louvre Paris France - Actual Google Search Results
Search Query: Cafes near the Louvre Paris France - Actual Google Search Results

Does this mean a lot are involved in doing Local SEO these days? Or even International SEO?

Google Results for: Impress a French girl

Google Super Bowl Ad: Impress a French girl - Search Query
Google Super Bowl Ad: Impress a French girl - Search Query
Google Actual Results: Impress a French girl - Search Query
Google Actual Results: Impress a French girl - Search Query

Amazing how Google answers still ranks well after the site has been closed already for 2 or 3 years I think.

Google Results for: Chocolate Shops Paris France

SuperBowl Ad - Google Results for: Chocolate Shops Paris France
SuperBowl Ad - Google Results for: Chocolate Shops Paris France
My Google Results for: Chocolate Shops Paris France
My Google Results for: Chocolate Shops Paris France

You don’t need a website to rank well in Local search results in Google one-box. The number 1 in one-box is still hanging in there strong.

Google Results for: What Are Truffles?

Google Superbowl Commercial Ad: What Are Truffles?
Google Superbowl Commercial Ad: What Are Truffles?
Google Actual SERPs: What Are Truffles?
Google Actual SERPs: What Are Truffles?

Interesting Yahoo answers results. It does not look like site links, and it does not look like the free flowing real time search. But it sure does consume a lot of screen real estate. Even more interesting is Google suggest today can show definitions in the drop down.

Google Super Bowl Ad Showing no Google Suggest Results
Google Super Bowl Ad Showing no Google Suggest Results
Actual Google Suggest Drop Down also Showing Definitions
Actual Google Suggest Drop Down also Showing Definitions

I omitted other results from the Google Super Bowl ad since they did not show any large difference in search results. And here is the last one I will show, again local search differences. But not in one box, but in Google Maps.

Google Results for: Churches in Paris

Churches in Paris - Google Maps, Local Search Results in Google Super Bowl Video Commercial
Churches in Paris - Google Maps, Local Search Results in Google Super Bowl Video Commercial
Churches in Paris - Google Maps, Local Search Results in Google
Churches in Paris - Google Maps, Local Search Results in Google

Ok, no big deal, search results are always changing anyway. So many factors involved also that can change the SERPs. And for reference purposes, I am in San Diego California and the actual results above are what appears when you are in my location.

But, let’s now take a look at Bing’s TV Commercial…

Like what I did above, I took screenshots of the Bing video ad and did the actual search queries also. Here are the results:

Bing Results for: restaurants

Bing TV Commercial - Dim Lighting Option
Bing TV Commercial - Dim Lighting Option

After searching for restaurants, you will really see no “Atmosphere” drill down category until you click on: “Local Listings for Restaurants” on the side bar, which I clicked on and came up with this:

Bing Results Showing No Atmosphere Option: Dim Lighting
Bing Results Showing No Atmosphere Option: Dim Lighting

Ok, the paramerters are not exactly the same. Clearly, Bing had some Geo-IP detection and automatically modified the query to: restaurants San Diego, California. So let’s change it to make the parers the same.

Bing Results for: restaurants in Portland, Oregon

Bing Video Ad: Search Query of Restaurants in Portland, Oregon
Bing Video Ad: Search Query of Restaurants in Portland, Oregon
Bing Actual Results for Query: restaurants in Portland, Oregon
Bing Actual Results for Query: restaurants in Portland, Oregon

And I went to the atmosphere sidebar, and didn’t find the Dim Lighting option. Even after clicking on the more link.

Bing Actual Results: Restaurants in Portland, Oregon - Atmosphere has no Dim Lighting option
Bing Actual Results: Restaurants in Portland, Oregon - Atmosphere has no Dim Lighting option

So is the Bing video advertisement shown on TV really fabricated for the television commercial purpose only? I’ll let you decide on that and you can check out the decision engine yourself. What do you think?

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