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