[NetBehaviour] A New Tool From Google Worries Brand-Name Sites.

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Wed Mar 26 16:38:41 CET 2008

A New Tool From Google Worries Brand-Name Sites.

Google has quietly introduced a new feature, called 
search-within-search, that is alarming some big-name Web publishers and 
retailers. They worry that users will be siphoned away through ad sales 
to competitors. What Google is doing is offering a secondary search 
option if the user initially searches explicitly for one of the 
brand-name destinations that Google has identified, such as "Best Buy." 
This secondary search lets users refine their query entirely within the 
pages of the desired site — but using Google's search, not the site's, 
and showing Google ads on the result pages, quite possibly ads from 
competitors. "Analysts generally praise the feature as helping users 
save steps, but for Web publishers and retailers, there are 
trade-offs... 'Google is showing a level of aggressiveness with this 
that's just not needed,' said [one Internet consultant]... Take, for 
instance, a [test where] 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. So even though users began the process by 
stating their intention to reach The Post, Google's ads steered at least 
some of them to competitors. Similar situations arose when users relied 
on Google to search nytimes.com."


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