Google is in constant evolution, and it remains the number one search engine. It is important for retailers to follow the company’s updates, difficult to decipher as they may be.
In a move to keep users on their search page for longer, Google launched search within a site. The clumsy name simply indicates that below the header for a particular retailer, is another Google search box. Instead of immediately clicking on the retailer’s website, the user may enter a secondary search on the same Google page.
Search within a site searches are treated like other search result pages. Which means, relevant advertising is also returned. The organic results are from the specific retailer. The ads are from any company that has purchased advertising – including the direct competition. We searched ‘marc jacobs’ at Revolve Clothing (above), and Shopbop – another ecommerce retailer was the top return (below). The rest of the results were all from Revolve Clothing.
As Mark Ballard, director of research at Rimm Kaufman Group LLC articulates, “You’d end up generating ads for your competition on a search that otherwise would have taken place on your site”.
Google argues that the search feature on many commerce sites are plainly not very good, and the company is looking to fill that second query result on its own search pages.
There is a solution for retailers wanting to control the returned results, and eliminate any advertising. Google has allowed for the retailer’s own search results page, as long as it’s formatted correctly and submitted to Google. Amazon and Walmart have already opted-in.
GOOGLE TO HANDLE MORE QUERIES
The search within a site feature is one of the newest the company is using to keep retailers on the Google search page longer. Structured and Rich Snippets pull key product and site details (like a camera’s dimensions, resolution, etc.) from brand and retailer websites, displaying them on the search results page. Thus, delaying the click to a retailer / brand’s webpage.
At this point, search within a site doesn’t seem to be altering consumer behavior in a significant way, but Google is actively expanding both the Snippits and Site Search features.
ADDITIONAL | Google’s Top holiday tips for retailers.