In May 2013, Russian search engine Yandex unveiled the plans for their new ‘Islands’ concept, a feature that will change the way search engine results pages are generated and design. ‘Islands’ display interactive snippets of content in a way that is deemed to be the next step from ‘rich snippets.’ Yandex has now release this feature in Beta across three countries.
What are Yandex Islands?
The concept behind this new features is to provide a ‘richer’ search engine results page which allow search engine users a wider range of options and details regarding which content they want to view. The idea is to reduce the amount of clicks, reducing the user journey from SERPs to actual content that searchers are looking for as users are provided with content before they actually click through. Webmasters will be able to make changes to their sites to make their results more compelling for users.
The changes are design to improve user satisfaction and increase conversion rates. Comments from Yandex co-foudner Ilya Segalovich argue that traditional search engine results have become outdated and need to be ‘brought up to speed.’
“Publishers need to bring up to speed their Web-based activities to a level of usability delivered by apps to achieve an alignment of the Web and mobile worlds. Sitelinks are an outdated way of doing this and rich snippets are mere decoration.”
“All our user research shows they are incredibly impatient and some will leave a search results page in less than half a second if we don’t deliver what they want. By enabling them to start filling in contact forms, book appointments or get directions directly from the SERP, we get them hooked into the process more quickly and help them start their journeys much faster.”
What can Webmasters do?
Ilya Seglaovich makes it clear that these interactions are still in the hands of webmasters since they will be able to add and remove tags at will. It was also discussed that no ranking preference would be given to those who chose to use the interactive snippets.
New Yandex Search results page
So what will the new search results page look like? The pages will consist of interactive blocks which allow users to directly complete an action from the search engine results page. For example:
Booking a cinema ticket:
What does this mean for other search engines?
One question on the minds of many: Will other search engines follow suit? There are definitely some advantages that will get the attention of many other search engines that’s for sure. Providing exactly what users want within one step is surely an attractive prospect. We will continue to monitor the success of the new Yandex Island as I’m sure other search engines will be!
Article By Michael Alexander