Google's New Search Tool Causes Controversy Among Businesses

Posted on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 by clicky

Google has recently unveiled a new web search engine platform named, Suggest Labs, that has is causing a lot of negative chatter among business and company owners that rely on web exposure to drive traffic to their website. 

Let's take a second and review exactly how Google's new search tool works and is why domainers need to be aware of this new experimental search engine. 

First, the user visits Google Suggest Labs and types in their search term just as they regularly would from the Google main page.  At a glance, it basically looks like the same interface. 

As the user begins to type their search inquiry, a real-time AJAX window automatically pops up below the search field to offer some alternative websites that are relevant to the intended search.  

The user than has the option to either proceed with their intended search by clicking on the "Google Search" button OR simply click on one of the suggested search terms recommended by Google.   From the user standpoint, this seems like a great convenient tool.  Easy search, nice suggestions. 

But, from the business standpoint, it's beginning to ruffle some corporate feathers.

Let me explain. 

Google's new search-within-a-search feature seems to work great with either generic or broad search terms, such as exercise or music, by offering users more options to help narrow down their search results.  But, as users begin to type in more exact search terms, such as WalMart or Circuit City, the new search engine begins to display a "directory" of individual pages on that company website instead of allowing a full web search.  Notice in the picture below that when I typed in WalMart, the suggestions are streamlined to include WalMart directory pages, not a full web search.  No problem huh? Wrong. 

This is exactly where the main complaint from featured companies begins.  Basically, instead of having visitors search for "directory" information from the company's own website after a user visit, Google is giving Internet searchers the same options without the user even visiting the company's website.  More traffic for Google, less traffic for that company's website. Not exactly a good equation for a that featured business's total website count. 

It has been rumored that has already requested Google to remove their featured listing from the new Google Suggest search engine because of this exact reasons stated above.

Today's domainers need to be aware of this alternative search method offered by Google and take into account how keywords and SEO may not figure into this new method of search.

Stay informed.

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