October 27, 2021
Google search glitch

Apparent Google Search Glitch Returns only Ads with No Organic Listings

A spotty and strange Google search glitch returns only ads for certain queries without surfacing any organic listings on the SERP…

Just last week, Google began testing a new feature — displaying only answers to a very limited number of queries without any other listings. It works for certain queries like “time in new zealand” and “fahrenheit to celsius.” But now, there’s something odd going on.

Google SERP Glitch Displays only Ads no Organic Listings

Twitter user Geoffrey Weg noticed a completely different result for a search. It surfaces only paid advertisements on the SERP or search engine results page, absent any organic listings:

Take notice, there is a “Show all results” option. 

However, Danny Sullivan, public liaison for search did post a possible explanation to Twitter. “Ads are showing for these now. They show pretty rarely across the tool set generally. In the few examples people have shared, I’ve passed those along internally for review, to consider if ads should be limited.”

This is likely just a glitch because Google’s entire purpose is to understand user intent. In fact, the company recently expanded its Featured Snippets to answer multi-intent queries. This is to address the problem of queries with two or more interpretations. The search giant provided the following example of multifaceted queries about gardens and sunlight:

Featured Snippets Multi-Intent Queries
Credit: Google

Currently, the company is testing a new pilot program called “Shopping Actions.” It allows people to find products through Google image search and purchase them directly without having to go to another site.

Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search and like news. History buff, movie and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband. Owen is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.          

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