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Google Search Within SERPs, Removal is Possible

 10:18 am on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

“Some of our retail clients have pretty horrible site search,” he said. “So for them, this will be a benefit. For our larger clients, we’ll probably ask Google to turn this off.”

That is the route that Amazon has apparently chosen. The retailer declined to comment for this article, but last week Google’s search-within-search function did not appear when users entered “amazon.com” into the initial search box.

According to a Google spokeswoman, the company has honored such requests from “a couple” of unnamed businesses. These companies, however, may not be able to reverse their decisions.

Google Search Within SERPs, Removal is Possible [nytimes.com]



 11:35 am on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is the same silly issues people had with advertisements in the main SERPs. In my opinion anyone who opts out of this is just shooting themselves in the foot.


 1:20 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Live by the Google, die by the Google.

What bothers me is that this feature may re-enforce the status quo.

In the past, if you were small company trying to carve out a niche in the widget market and you have had some success with the widget fans blogging and linking to you, Google's software filters would see that and raise your rank in the SERPS. Is that as likely to happen now?


 1:26 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, I can tell you if we get the "bonus box", we will not be asking to have it turned off.

Here is the reason they want it turned off, i think its important because without reading the article I could not come up with a reason to turn it off.

The problem, for some in the industry, is that when someone enters a term into that secondary search box, Google will display ads for competing sites, thereby profiting from ads it sells against the brand. The feature also keeps users searching on Google pages and not pages of the destination Web site.

I think it is a big mistake to turn it off. If somebody is already typing your company name into google, they are set on going to your site anyways. But maybe Amazon saw a dip in traffic from Google and figured that was the reason.


 2:25 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

IMO it also focuses a lot more attention onto the site with the search box next to it's listing.

With regards to Amazon, I can see why they wanted it removed. They have their own search, so why would they want users to search usign google. I suspect the amazon algo is very marketign orientated, and doesnt have ads controled by Google.



 3:02 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Amazon is probably one of the few sites out there with enough traffic to see what kind of a difference it makes. Should be able to run some anaytics reports and look for different patterns.

Using the new search box



doing a regular site search on Google


If I was Amazon, don't think I'd want it. If my internal site search sucked and there wasn't much personalization, then it might be better to have it.

It does seem to further the goal of making Google closer to the end destination and keeping people on Google.com for a longer period of time for more page views and ad impressions.


 3:23 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can see the point on this one. I wouldn't want competitor ads on there when they are specifically looking for me either. I tried it by searching for Crutchfield and did a search from that little box for mp3 player and it did NOT have any ads in there...so, maybe Google is taking out the ads from those?


 3:46 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

The problem for Amazon is that their internal search function IS lousy. Maybe they have an analysis that tells them otherwise, but I can see this losing them sales.


 4:51 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

amazon is one of the biggest traffic suckers, why should they complain? just kick them out, most products can be found on other sites anyway. or am i missing the point why amazon is valuable in the serps?


 9:51 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Anyone know what the timetable is for rolling this out to more sites, or how they choose sites, or anything like that?

Robert Charlton

 10:21 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

...how they choose sites, or anything like that?

For a discussion of what patterns sites that get chosen seem to fit, see this recent discussion....

New Search Box Under Sitelinks

Not all large corporate, large page-count sites get them... and some small but high traffic sites, like irs.gov, do get them.


 1:24 am on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

It seems to me once you are opting out the "search within search" without reversible you are also opting out the site link.


 10:22 am on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I tried it by searching for Crutchfield and did a search from that little box
for mp3 player and it did NOT have any ads in there

I tried a few (3) searches for sites that the site seach box appears
for and didn't see any ads at all, either.

Could Google have actually listened and acted on a perfectly
valid complaint, for once, without the usual prerequisite
hue & cry from thousands of webmasters, for once .. ?



 10:45 am on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just did a search on uspto.gov and there are ads in there.


 2:34 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you look for a wii at Target, the page is loaded with ads.


 3:00 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Amazon will want people to use their own search because it is full of recomendations. Users arriving via Google search are taken right ot the page containng their product. Amazon want users to follow the entire process through using their own technology. From page to search to product.


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