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Google promoting itself for random search query

I was recently searching for a local plasterer in Google to try and get his phone number or find his website (I don’t know if he has one) and when I searched for “ernie plasterer Manchester” I scrolled through the first page of results and saw the following:


I was surprised to see appear as number 2 in the listings. I removed “Manchester” and the listing disappeared, and the same happened when removing “plasterer” and indeed “ernie”. It made me wonder was this listing put there by Google as a placeholder for a recently removed website. Why else would they appear there? It doesn’t take you through to a local page listing or anything remotely relevant to what the search query was.

I searched in Bing and Yahoo! But there was nothing similar, so it must be a one off. I search for a few name variations such as “james plasterer Manchester” but it wasn’t showing Google anywhere. Does anyone have any ideas where this may have come from?

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  • Bilawal Hameed

    I think it was nothing more than a silly error, because it makes no sense for them to advertise their homepage while they are searching.

    I wouldn’t think anything of it as it didn’t affect many people and the keyword doesn’t seem too demanding. I also highly doubt it was a placeholder as that defeats the point of search, and it would have said on the bottom that a website was removed from the listings.

  • Judith

    I bet it was one of Googles tests to catch Bing out, because they have supposedly copied Googles algorithm. Did you stumble across one of there tests?