- I did a search for “FYD” on google.com (I won’t tell you why, but I think Ine might have an idea)
- I got results for FYD (“Results 1 – 10 of about 280,000 for FYD”)
- just behind the 3 first results, Google inserts a block with the 3 first results for “FTD” (4.150.000 results).
- Google does not suggest that I made a typo by stating something like “Did you mean ‘FTD’?”
- There is a title line “See results for: ftd” with the addition of
oi=revisions_inlinein the query string. So I guess they call it “inline revisions”.
- the first three results for “FTD” are all homepages of domains with FTD in them: ftd.com, ftdi.com, ftd.de . That might be a coincidence, since these are the actual first 3 results for “ftd”.
- Knowing how Google generally works, this seems like an organic search feature. I don’t think either of those 3 “ftd” domains paid for having the revision.
- Google tracks click-through on these revisions: they first send the visitor to http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.ftd.com/ with the parameters: sa=X & revid=889895241 (changes with every query refresh) & qpos=0 & upos=0 (position of result: 0/1/2) & oi=revisions_inline
- I don’t get these revisions when I search on google.be. I don’t get them when I use an extra keyword in my search. But I can reproduce the results for “FYD” from another location.
- Some other queries that have these inline revisions: PDZ (See results for: perfect dark zero), ADZ (See results for: adze), UGE (See results for: universal game editor).
So it’s not just about typos, also for ‘lesser known’ acronyms.
UPDATE: penalty points for doing sloppy research: Google was already testing this out in August. Here’s an article on seo-consulting.de (German) (the search term was ‘COLA‘, I also get the revisions for that) and one on fuzzyfreaky.typepad.com and it was mentioned again in October on forums.digitalpoint.com. The feature was announced on August 19 by Googler Matt Cutts. Scusi.