When Google launched its search within search feature, there was not too much reaction about it. One of the harshest reactions was a guest post on seoSmarty saying that it could mean bad news for site owners. Until now, when a NYT reported that some retailers and publishers were not actually too happy about the search within search feature. The reason? – Google SERPs display PPC ads from rival companies.
While this maybe a good thing for users who are out on Google search to find the most relevant sites for whatever information is needed, this however drives away traffic from the hosted site which has the additional search box within the Google search results page.
Some of the examples cited by the article includes search for Washington Post and then entering jobs in the in-search box yields paid ads from Monster.com and CareerBuilders.com. Both job sites were obviously competitors of Washington’s Post employment site.
A good example was given by a guest post in seoSmarty when searching for Florida march in VirginHolidays search within search box. The post highlighted some PPC links on the right hand side of the search results page.
I checked those examples and as of this writing the paid ads are not appearing anymore. Google might have either pulled of those ads as a reaction to site owners or these site owners might have opted out of the search within search thingamajig.
This reminds of last week’s raucous about Apple’s software auto-updater where the installation of Safari browser was being pushed to users through a default check box. If users are not vigilant enough, they might have ended up installing software that they don’t actually need.
Lessons learned for users. Be wary of what internet players are pushing in the guise of better delivery of web services. There’s got to be a hitch somehow, somewhere.