The “10 blue links” were used to write the flat structure of the SERP, which search engines lack the complexity that they have today. When doing a search, Google would return a page with 10 organic results that were the same copy.
This search results page is now outdated, Google has begun adding results to its search result pages in new formats called SERP features. Some of the SERP features include:
- Paid ads
- Featured snippets
- People Asking Also? Boxes
- Local (map) package
- Information panel
- Site links
And Google continues to add new ones. They even experimented with “zero-result SERPs”, a phenomenon where only one result from the Knowledge Graph is displayed on the SERP and no results are inferior to the “view more results” option.
The addition of these features initially caused panic among SEOs for two main reasons. First, many of these traits led to organic results being pushed further down the SERP. Another reason is that because SERP now answers more questions in a single query, searchers click on less organic results.
So why would Google do this? Everything goes back to the search experience. User behavior indicates that some queries are better served with different content formats. I suggest you pay attention to how the different SERP attributes match different types of query purposes.
- Query Formats and possible rich content equivalents;
- Informative Query: Featured Snippet
- Informative query with one answer: Knowledge Graph
- Local Result Query: MAP (Map)
- Operational Query: Shopping
I hope I was able to provide you with detailed information for the new search results.