Google Site Search Controversy a Storm in a Teacup
I really don’t know what to say about the New York Times’ “A New Tool From Google Alarms Sites” article. Has news been that slow this weekend?
So, you’ll recall that Google’s testing a feature that allows you to search within a site, from the normal Google search results. Well, apparently some advertisers are super peeved that the new feature might cause potential visitors to shop elsewhere.
Here’s the gist of it…
Take, for instance, a situation last week, when 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.
Shock, awe, horror! How can Google possibly get away with this?
Oh, wait. You can just ask Google to turn the feature off…
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.
“So we ask them to try it out and see if they want it removed,” the spokeswoman said. “We think it could be a really useful feature.”
End of drama!
So why the heck even write about it in the first place? Besides, knowing Google’s efforts to give better control of search results to web site owners–via Google Webmaster Central–I fully suspect all web sites to be offered the option to opt-out.
In the meantime, for those complaining consider this. If I search for YOUR COMPANY and then decide to shop elsewhere–after using a site search for YOUR SITE and seeing an AdWords ad–how strong was my relationship with you in the first place???