Google Hiding Search Results Pages

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 30, 2010
Updated • Mar 15, 2012

A few months ago, when you would have asked me why you are only seeing one page of results in Google Search, I would have told you that this is because you have searched for an exotic term that does not yield more than a handful of results.

Today however I witnessed for the first time that Google seems to bey experimenting with their search results listings (again), by artificially limited the results to the first page. What happens? You search for a phrase in Google and see the usual first page of the search results. At the top it gives the page number found for the term, lets say 400k.

Once you scroll down to the bottom you notice that the standard page navigation is missing from the search result listing, and that it has been replaced by nothing, a search form, advertisements or related links.

That's right, there is no option to view the second page of results, even if you did not find what you were looking for on the first page. The topic is in discussion right now at sites like Webmaster World, and the guys over at Seroundtable received a response from Google that it is a bug, and not an experiment or test.

Update: According to Google, only a limited number of users are affected by the bug. Single users are not affected all the time by the Google Search bug. It can be that the next search is already showing the search results page navigation again. Using different browsers and clearing the cookies has also helped some who experienced the bug.

So, do not panic, it is a bug, not a feature. The bug has been there for some time now though, and there is still no official word on when it will be fixed. We keep you in the loop as soon as we get notification.


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  1. Dan Serban said on September 30, 2010 at 10:21 am

    As a power user, I’d like to point your readers to a search engine that provides better results than Google for people that are in the habit of copying-pasting error messages and hoping to find a solution to a technical problem:
    With Google having moved their focus to image search, video search, gossip search etc. they seem to have lost sight of what initially boosted their popularity in the first place: search as a tool to help debug / troubleshoot problems.

    1. Dave said on December 26, 2011 at 3:37 am

      Thanks Dan for pointing out the search engine for technical problems! I like it!

  2. MKR said on September 30, 2010 at 2:29 am

    It’s very rare that I find what I’m looking for past the 10th result. I think there could be some use in making a feature out of this bug. I often find myself trawling through pages when I know I won’t find it. I could get to refining my query faster with a 10 result limit.

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