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New Search Box Under Sitelinks



5:19 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Anyone else seeing a search box underneath the sitelinks on .co.uk just search microsoft. Is this just goog testing or will everyone with sitelinks get one?


1:05 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some ideas - the site search box may be a traffic metric, or it may include a measurement of how frequently there are query revisions.

How about selected sites that do not use Google site search regardless of size? i.e. Those sites using "non-Google" search?

WebmasterWorld has Google search, many companies have Google search, I have Google site search...just a thought & I haven't checked any of the sites that have these results so far.


9:18 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

For example, if your site is called fredblogs dot com and you enter fred blogs [with a space inbetween] - then you may not get site links.
But, if you enter fredblogs [without space] into google, then the chances are that they will appear.

Our company name which is also in our domain name is a single word so I can't help on this one.

How about selected sites that do not use Google site search regardless of size? i.e. Those sites using "non-Google" search?

We don't use Google search on our site and we get site links and the search box. As I said in my earlier post, we do have Google Analytics on our site but I'm not convinced that this is a factor.

I was reading the Google blog and saw this which may shed a little light on the matter:

Have you ever forgotten the exact address of a site that you wanted to visit? Not a problem - just type the name of the site into the Google search box and hopefully it appears at the top of the search results page.

We call this "teleporting", and we're pleased that we have been able to minimize the need to remember an alphabet soup of .coms, .nets, and .orgs out of everyone's lives. However, one of the trends we noticed while studying teleporting was that there were lots of searchers who would type the name of a specific website as if they wanted to teleport, but would then immediately issue another more a refined search within this site.

For example, if someone is looking for official information about the Hubble Space Telescope on the NASA website, one might first search for [NASA] and then [NASA Hubble Telescope]...

(Taken from [googleblog.blogspot.com ].)

This seems to be the basis for whether a site gets a search box i.e. if user behaviour for searches on a site matches the example above.


10:29 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

i think this is the key to that post:
This feature will now occur when we detect a high probability that a user wants more refined search results within a specific site. Like the rest of our snippets, the sites that display the site search box are chosen algorithmically based on metrics that measure how useful the search box is to users.


10:45 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Without the site search:

People type in your brand, see your site and click through. They find your product/service by browsing your site or using your site search. They get exposed to your brand and sales messages. Many will buy other items they see, or sign up to newsletters.

With the site search:

People type in your brand, and see the instruction to Search <YourSite>.com. Some will click on the link as normal, others will pause for a second, then give the site search a go instead.

70% of those doing a site search will get results. 2% of these will automatically click on the first thing that comes up (1% will correctly bypass the ppc ads, 1% will accidently click through to a competitors site).

Of the other 98%, most will start to question your brand at this stage. Is it more important to me to go with your listing - am I THAT loyal, or should I try some of those very appealing PPC adverts?

Id say 50% of them will click on a a competitors advert (the lure of 60% off being too great), while the other half will click on your link.

Now returning to the 30% of people who did a site search but didn't get any listings. When ppc adverts appear, roughly 26% will click on a ppc advert instead (its the next easiest thing to achieve what they're looking for, given that the site doesn't have what they wanted).

The others will type in a different search (or brand) into google and search again.

For pages that didn't have ppc ads, all will do a a different search into Google.

(note that the stats are pure estimates, and that I'm assuming that normal people assume that the site search searches all your pages and all your product/xml content, which obviously it doesn't)


Things become more complicated with Site Search! - but to me its clear that you'll end up losing traffic and customers.


10:45 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

@Pharange: Absolutely. Right now I think we're trying to figure out what the triggers are in the algorithm.

I've been thinking about this a bit more. I'm guessing that we all want this new feature on our sites but if we think of why it appears, then maybe we shouldn't worry about it too much. If someone searches for "info on widget x" then they'll probably be shown your product/info page for that widget in the SERPS. This is where you'd want them to go to, you don't want Google to show your main site with a search box. If someone wants information on widget x and they want *your* information on it, then maybe they'll search for your name, then will do another search on the widget, restricted to your site, in which case, the algorithm *may* kick in and show the search box - which would be very useful. However, I think it would be more likely that a user wanting your info on widget x would search for "yourname widget x", removing the need for the extra search box.

In short, if you have the search box, you probably need it. If you don't have it, then it's probably not much use to you. Of course this is just my opinion, it's not based on solid fact, but it's something to think about anyway.

(Reason for edit: just making sure it was clear I was replying to Pharange as another post snuck in as I was writing mine)


11:23 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

watch out for those sneaky posters, natto! =8)

i came to the same conclusion as you after reading it.
based on typical behavior you are not likely to lose much traffic in your on site search if you have one.
and with site search snippet you are more likely to capture traffic you may have lost if the user type a more refined keyword phrase in the general search.

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