Some online retailers and other website owners have expressed their concern over a new Google search tool which is intended to help web users search within sites.
This new search tool is displayed in the search results pages for a number of well known retailers and publishers. By using the tool, Google users perform a keyword search within a website without leaving the search engine.
This can be seen on Google searches for major retailers such as Tesco and Argos, as well as publishers including the Times Online and The Guardian.
Google says it has introduced this feature to help searchers and, depending on the quality of websites’ internal search systems, this may well be a better method of searching at times.
One other benefit for Google is that it keeps searchers on the site for longer, generates more page impressions for the search engine and thus allows them to serve more paid search ads.
Not all publishers and retailers are happy about this new development from Google as it takes away page impressions and therefore potential ad revenues, and means web users are spending less time on their sites.
In addition, some of the paid search ads displayed in the ‘search within search’ results are often for competing websites, so retailers are concerned that the new feature may guide users to another website.
It seems that website owners have the option of removing this new feature. A Google spokeswoman said that the company has received such requests from retailers, and it seems Amazon was one of those.