In typical Google fashion - i.e. no fanfare apart from a blog post - a new piece of functionality is now up and running on the main Google search pages.
Users will now be able to see the search box for a host website included in results for some brand names.
Here's an example:
A user can then type in "Paris" into the second search box and obtain results only from Hilton.co.uk, as seen below:
E-Consultancy points out an interesting issue to all this. Some sites might not be too happy about this as they rely on people using their sites for search as a source of customer behaviour data.
Anyway, we have been trying a few things out and so far have discovered that none of the main UK meta search engines/price comparison sites have the sub-box so far.
In hotels, Hilton, Marriott and Premier Inn do. Sheraton and Travelodge do not.
Airlines: thumbs-up for Ryanair. Not so for EasyJet, BA and Virgin Atlantic.
Big operators/verticals sees Thomas Cook get a box, but not Thomson, Kuoni or Cosmos.
OTAs: Expedia, Opodo, TravelRepublic, Ebookers and STA Travel do not, but Lastminute.com does.
So what's the criteria for whether a box appears or not?
Through experimentation, we found that presenting users with a search box as part of the result increases their likelihood of finding the exact page they are looking for.One of the interesting things about this is that brand name searches are, by all accounts, still extremely popular despite a supposed surge in online activity by supplier and intermediaries.
So over the past few days we have been testing, and today we have fully rolled out, a search box that appears within some of the search results themselves.
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.
Another is will sites be disadvantaged if they CANNOT have their search box included? Not sure...
Kevin May, editor, Travolution
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