Google's Recommended Questions Are Better Off Below Search Results
What's more important first - search results or recommended alternative questions based on what other users ask? It's now clear that Google ran such an experiment on their search results with a clear decision in favor of the former (showing real search results first).
Highlighted UI Changes From This Leak
Lowered Recommended Questions
In the tested B variation, Google shifted the "People Also Ask" component right below the search results. We can only guess as to why this might have performed better than the original control (with the questions higher above the results).
Could it be that the suggested questions weren't as relevant as the search results themselves?
Or perhaps it's simply more profitable for Google to send people away to external sites (or ads)? They're probably evaluating such trade-off test using at least two metrics: ad revenue (that make them money from clicks) vs usefulness of the results (that make people come back to search for more - and make them more money).
Interestingly, in certain cases it also looks like the "People Also Ask" compontent might be shifting a little higher above the last 2-3 search results.
What are your thoughts on why this experiment ended the way it did?