Lee Odden

Google Categories

Google is always testing tweaks to their search results but today I noticed a very interesting feature that I think is called Google Categories. Below is a screen grab of SERPs for “dvd players”. “motorola cell phones” also triggered these results but things like “lawn care” and “art museums” did not. It’s obviously product focused.

Google Categories

Notice the bold headings on categories of search results including: Comparison Shopping, Reviews, Stores, References and Others. There’s also a link to turn this feature off at the top right, “Turn OFF Categories for these results”. There are other categories including Forums, News and Manufacturers.

With each category, there is a “more” operator for specific categories including more:stores, more:product_references, more:forums, more:blogs, more:news, more:manufacturers.

While the additional categories are suggested at the bottom of the search results, they don’t necessarily work at the moment. For example, clicking on the “blogs” category for a search on “dvd players” did not return a list of search results from blogs. It would be very cool if it did though. My guess is that they’re still working out the kinks.

I tried the same query with another browser and the Categories feature did not appear. Such an implementation Google-wide would have a very big impact on how web sites can be optimized and promoted within Google.

I am not sure how new this is as I’ve not found other references to “Google categories” or “Google grouper”. If you’ve seen this or have more info, please let me know.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. I just noticed that Philipp Lenssen wrote a little about this on Monday:

  2. So GooG is retrogressing to the Web portal/directory of the nineties? How quaint and lovely to meet the old Yahoo half-way!

  3. I find it incredible how Google are turning out so many new products and services at the moment. Just recently, we’ve had Google Blog Search (which I’ve just posted about on my blog), Google Checkout, and now this. Phew!

  4. That kind of sucks for e-commerce sites that don’t currently participate in comparison shopping. Not to makes the shopping experience more frustrating. What if I don’t want to do all of those things and I’d rather just see sites that have dvd players without reading reviews or comparison shopping? I know that sounds crazy, but it ties into the “paradox of choice.”

  5. Hey Rhea, there is an option at the top right of the screen to turn the categories off. That’s a choice, right? 🙂

  6. It’s been a long day… you’re right. I completely over-looked that. Thank you! 🙂

  7. And obviously didn’t read the post fully. I’m a bad blog reader.

  8. Ha, I doubt that – you seem pretty much on top of things to me. 🙂

  9. Aw, thank you. My boss just made a very valid point – my concern could be valid depending on what Google makes the default display. And, is “turn off” a one time setting or required with each search? I’d really love more info on this, so I hope others respond soon!

  10. Avatar Cavan Moon says

    This could be a nice feature as a tab you “turn on” to further sort the organic results, but I can’t imagine Google setting this as the default. It seems to have plenty of kinks, as I notice Shopping.com is the first listing under “Stores” while Bizrate is listed under “Comparison Shopping”.

  11. If you like what Google is testing with categorized search for products you should visit Retrevo.com. Retrevo launched in September with vertical search for consumer electronics – if you have to research, buy or fix any gadget Retrevo cuts through the noise and clutter pretty well. – m

  12. Avatar Lee McCoy says

    I work with many “information based” clients so it’ll be interesting to see how they categorise those sorts of sites.

    Also, it’ll be interesting to see if there’s anything the webmaster could do to get their categorisation changed?

  13. Lee is it just me but have they messed up again :

    videohelp isn’t really a comparison site, but it does compare DVD’s via reviews and links to pricegrabber.

    shopping.com is a comparison site not a store !!


  14. Humm, tv-style on the net…….

  15. Hey Dave, I’m not sure how they’re figuring out those categories but the search operators were even worse. This must be an pre-pre-pre-alpha sort of test. 🙂

  16. Spam much?

  17. I deleted it.

  18. Avatar Justin Seibert says


    Thanks for showing the screenshots and giving us this update. Do you have any idea how Google’s deciding the category order? Would love any more light you can shed. Thanks.

  19. Actually, for years Google has been displaying a group of spoon bending results in the middle of its SERP for “metal bending”.

  20. Submit the site to the appropriate category at dmoz.org and cross your fingers.

  21. Avatar Matt Cutts says

    Lee Odden, you make a couple good points; we’re always trying new approaches and different UIs. In a way-early test, I wouldn’t worry that much about which category a particular site was in.


  1. […] Google siempre está haciendo pruebas sobre los resultados que da en la búsquedas, pues en esta ocasión, Lee Odden de Online Marketing Blog les ha pillado en una prueba. Se trata de “Categorías Google”. Estos resultados de búsqueda solo salen cuando se realizan búsquedas posiblemente relacionadas con compras, como por ejemplo “motorola cell phones” (moviles Motorola) o “dvd players” (reproductores dvd) . Podéis pinchar en la imagen para verla más grande. […]

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  5. […] With the advent of personalization and impending changes with the interface of search results, the notion of ranking seems to be on it’s way out. In the past 3-4 years, most SEO consulting firms have been focusing on traffic and especially the past 2-3 years on conversions. Standard search engine rankings as a proxy to sales will become irrelevant, especially as other channels of search have emerged in popularity. […]

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