Monday, March 24, 2008

Google gives with one hand, and takes away with the other

You work hard trying to win a great spot on Google's search results page, and now "search within search" may lead prospects who typed in your brand and wanted your company and your products away from your site.

Shame.

Here's how search within search works: A prospect searches for a company by name, like Best Buy. With search within search, the result puts Best Buy's internal search engine under the snippet and on the results page.

Makes it nice and easy for your prospects to find something right? That's the idea. But here's the twist. When a Best Buy customer actually searches for something, the results come up on the left-hand side of the page with ads from rivals on the right-hand side. That wouldn't have happened if the prospect had entered Best Buy and done the search within the site itself.


The New York Times today does a great job at explaining the implications.

"Take, for instance, a situation last week, when users of Google searched The Washington Post and were given a secondary search box. Those who typed “jobs” into that second box saw related results for The Post’s employment pages, but the results were bordered by ads for competing employment sites like CareerBuilder or Monster.com."

I tried it. I searched for Washington Post, and got this result:















Search for Washington Post.



And sure enough, when I searched for "marketing jobs," I got these results surrounded by ads from other sites.







You can read more about search within search from SEOSmarty and SearchEngineWatch.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online blog editor Julie Power Monday March 24 at 10.30 a.m.









Search for marketing jobs using Washington Post's internal search engine.


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