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Google Businesses The Internet

A New Tool From Google Worries Brand-Name Sites 168

Posted by kdawson
from the first-they-came-for-the-new-york-times dept.
Google has quietly introduced a new feature, called search-within-search, that is alarming some big-name Web publishers and retailers. They worry that users will be siphoned away through ad sales to competitors. What Google is doing is offering a secondary search option if the user initially searches explicitly for one of the brand-name destinations that Google has identified, such as "Best Buy." This secondary search lets users refine their query entirely within the pages of the desired site — but using Google's search, not the site's, and showing Google ads on the result pages, quite possibly ads from competitors. "Analysts generally praise the feature as helping users save steps, but for Web publishers and retailers, there are trade-offs... 'Google is showing a level of aggressiveness with this that's just not needed,' said [one Internet consultant]... Take, for instance, a [test where] 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. So even though users began the process by stating their intention to reach The Post, Google's ads steered at least some of them to competitors. Similar situations arose when users relied on Google to search nytimes.com."
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A New Tool From Google Worries Brand-Name Sites

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  • by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:34AM (#22842324) Homepage
    When google sends them traffic (for free). Besides, I think that it is unlikely many people will use google to search individual inventories. Maybe I'm naive, but I routinely choose not to search a site with google (if there is an option).
    • by p0tat03 (985078) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:39AM (#22842364)

      I would use this feature. I generally check for stock on a particular item before I head out to the store to pick it up - stores like Future Shop and Best Buy here in Canada are notorious for running out of stock on moderately popular items. These two stores, coincidentally, also have some of the hardest to navigate sites I've ever had to use. Finding a particular product, or even a category of products, is an exercise in randomness and futility.

      If someone suffers from Google's new feature, they have only themselves to blame. Why wouldn't I use the site's own search tool if it was any good at all? The fact that I'm clamoring for an alternative is only evidence that they are sucking.

      • by HUADPE (903765) on Monday March 24, 2008 @03:38AM (#22842776) Homepage
        Those two store are in fact the same store. That might explain the similar problems. Future shop was originally independent, but is now wholly owned by Best Buy.
      • by aplusjimages (939458) on Monday March 24, 2008 @08:24AM (#22843804) Journal
        I think you've hit the nail on the head. Companies shouldn't be concerned, but enlightened to the fact that the search functions they have on their site is not functional. These companies should also talk to their web site coder and see why their search engine doesn't work as well as googles. I hate using search features on sites and forums, because the results come back with thousands of options, which none of them are the results I'm looking for. Maybe with Googles help the results will pull up exactly what the potential customer is looking for and connect them to the product sooner.
        • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Monday March 24, 2008 @09:17AM (#22844170) Homepage
          How is this "new tool" any different than the "site:" command that google has always had to search within a particular domain?

          I bring this up because Google lets you integrate their search engine int your site for free and all it does is add "site:yourdomain.com" to the end of the query. I've replaced the normal search on one of my sites [thoughthead.com] with google's search because it works much much better, there's no reason other sites couldn't do the same.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by The Redster! (874352)

            Far as I can tell, there's no difference. In fact, when you use this thing, that's exactly what you get -- the search results page even shows that it's the result of a site: search in the text box.

            All they've done is put a little GUI front on it. You're still clearly within the realm of google search results. Really, I don't think I'd ever use this feature much. If I'm searching a particular domain it's still easier (to me) to just type site:url and do one query.

          • by hhawk (26580)
            The only difference is it is easier and let's be clear my Mom would never figure out "Site:" but could easily figure out this new feature. It's good for users, that's good enough for me.
          • How is this "new tool" any different than the "site:" command that google has always had to search within a particular domain?
            Because only savvy techies know how to use the "site:" operator; a very small minority of internet users. "Search within search" works automatically, for everyone.
          • by ImaLamer (260199)
            Even more Google offers a search within a site inline already.

            When I'm tweaking my PVR I'll go to their forums but I do so with the Google search bar in my browser. After the second result I get... More results from forums.gbpvr.com

            This idea has existed since Altavista, we could always search within a domain. Create a robots.txt, block all search engines, problem solved.
        • These companies should also talk to their web site coder and see why their search engine doesn't work as well as googles.

          I'm going to guess that there are at least two common factors:

          1) Google has teams of people with doctorates in Computer Science working on their search algorithms; the e-commerce company has "their web site coder".

          2) The company has provided insufficient specifications for how their site search is expected to work to the person or team responsible for implementing it.
        • Having a good search facility is not a benefit to a store provided they have a reasonable assumption that you will keep looking. I think this works well for high-street branded stores.

          Just like the way the supermarkets move the stock, the on-line retailer wants you to: a) stick around and b) see more of what they have on offer in the hope something else will peak your interest so they can c) ... and d) profit.

          So a search facility that doesn't show you what you need straight away is actually probably one des
    • by eebra82 (907996) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:50AM (#22842436) Homepage

      They don't complain when google sends them traffic (for free).
      Many businesses are depending entirely on ads and search results. Ultimately, however, Google depends on quality web sites, because without it, a search engine would be pointless. So it's a beautiful equilibrium where one can only exist if the other does as well.

      My point is that if you are topping Google results, there is a lot of hard work behind it, which is also why people find your page interesting. Ultimately, (again) this is why a search engine is interesting - because it finds interesting pages.
      • by evilviper (135110) on Monday March 24, 2008 @02:48AM (#22842656) Journal

        Ultimately, however, Google depends on quality web sites, because without it, a search engine would be pointless

        Search engines were around before there were many (any?) ad-supported web sites.

        Google has taken steps to build content libraries, like book search, news, e-mail, earth/maps, YouTube, etc. Caching everything ensures they'll be useful even if there's nothing else but google.

        Shopping sites are more than happy to stay online without ads. Maybe instead of a lot of content (already designed to drive ads views) with a few ads on the page, we'll just have lots of product info on a site, with a few pages of a little content. No doubt if you want to make a "Coca Cola is the greatest drink ever" site, Coke would be happy to host it, even in a post-ad-apocalyptic internet.

        With sites like Wikipedia, citeseer, Archive.org, government sites, universities, etc., the internet will continue to be quite useful to a great many people, even if all profit on the internet dies a horrible death (which is ludicrous).

        Frankly, I think this is all bullshit. If you can't turn a profit if you're forced to fairly compete with competitors and their advertising, you're doing something wrong. Luckily, it'll only take a quick web search on Google (and a peek at the ads) to find another company that will be HAPPY to fill-in when you go away.
        • by Fozzyuw (950608)

          Frankly, I think this is all bullshit.

          Yes, it is. I just tested it out, and know what? It's the exact same thing that's been around for YEARS! It's just doing an "advance search" with "site:bestbuy.com". That's all. And it appears Google has already responded...

          Doing a site [google.com] specific [google.com] search [google.com] isn't even showing a single PPC ad.

          Lastly, it doesn't [google.com] seem [google.com] to be too big [google.com] of a problem [google.com] when not doing a site specific search.

          So, yes, it's not even worth reading the article.

          • Site specific search does show ads if you actually do a search [google.com].
            • by Fozzyuw (950608)

              Weird, it appears that depending on when I refresh my page, I may or may not get PPC ads. I just happened that I choose keywords [google.com] that where too general. But you're correct, there are indeed ppc ads depending on the keyword.

      • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadin@x[ ].net ['oxy' in gap]> on Monday March 24, 2008 @03:14AM (#22842720) Homepage Journal
        > Ultimately, however, Google depends on quality web sites, because without it, a search engine would be pointless. So it's a beautiful equilibrium where one can only exist if the other does as well.

        This seems to be assuming that "quality web sites" are all or even mostly ad-driven. I'm just not sure that this is the case.

        The Internet had a lot of content on it before advertising took off as a business model, and even if advertising revenue collapsed tomorrow (as it's predicted to do every so often by various people, not that I put any credence in it), there would still be a lot of content left. Sure, you'd lose the for-profit "blogosphere", and probably quite a bit of news would retreat behind paywalls, and community sites like Slashdot would have to pass the hat to users more aggressively to stay in business. But there's an awful lot of the WWW that's put up and paid for without ads. Lots of corporate sites, political sites, personal pages, quasi-philanthropic efforts like Wikipedia ... still more than enough to require a good search engine.

        The Internet created and gave birth to search engines because there was a demand for search. After starting with search, Google then got into advertising, and a whole lot of sites got spawned as a result. Google-as-search preceded Google-as-advertising; those sites who depend on Google for advertising revenue would be good to remember that. They need Google far more than Google needs them.
      • by sm62704 (957197) on Monday March 24, 2008 @09:06AM (#22844094) Journal
        Many businesses are depending entirely on ads and search results

        That's THEIR problem, isn't it? I'm really getting sick of these corporations getting bent out of shape because I don't use the internet like they want me to. "Oh noes they is using Google instead of my own shitty internal search!" "Oh noes they be using google instead of clicking on my blinkey shiney ads!" "Ohe noes they uses adblock to avoid my annoying blinkey shiney ads!"

        I've gotten to the point that if I see any advertising for a particular company I avoid its wares entirely if possible, and the more annoying and full of lies it is the more I avoid it.

        Every day I think I couln't possible be more disgusted with the corporations, and every day they still manage to top the previous day. Their contempt for their customers seems to have no bounds.
    • by Spliffster (755587) on Monday March 24, 2008 @06:07AM (#22843254) Homepage Journal
      "Maybe I'm naive, but I routinely choose not to search a site with google (if there is an option)."

      I do it the other way 'round. whenever i want to search a site by keywords I go to google and enter:

      site:. [[[keyword] keyword] ...]

      As long as searching for keywords, most sites' searches suck big hairy monkeballs[TM]! why not use what works well ?

      If you have privacy concerns you are free to create as many firefox profiles as you wish. I use one for gmail (better yet imaps), one for googlepages and one for my daily browsing (with all google cookies blocked). I am blocking google cookies because they started to customize my results in a way that i got different results on every computer i am using (that's annoying).

      Cheers,
      -S
    • by kylehase (982334)

      but I routinely choose not to search a site with google (if there is an option).

      It really depends on the site. Some sites have poor search result ordering, lack search options such as filtering or are just too slow so I opt to use google using site:

  • by Anonymous Coward
    www.copernic.com that already has search within the results
  • Opt-out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rinisari (521266) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:34AM (#22842330) Homepage Journal
    If they don't want Google to index their publicly available pages, they can use robots.txt. End of story.
    • Not only that, but you'd think they'd be HAPPY Google would be exclusively serving search results from their site and banishing advertisers to just the ads, rather than having the regular search results with competitors scattered through them?

    • Re:Opt-out (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tedivm (942879) on Monday March 24, 2008 @02:45AM (#22842648)

      If they don't want Google to index their publicly available pages, they can use robots.txt. End of story.

      Thats ridiculous. Why does this issue need to be so black and white? I see no reason why people shouldn't be able to complain- hell, if I was Google, I would appreciate the complaints. How the hell is a company supposed to improve if everyone just up and leaves before mentioning they have an issue?
      In this case, I certainly don't think Google did anything wrong. If someone wanted to search WSJ or NYTimes specifically, they would go to those respective websites. If they go to Google, they're probably looking for options. That doesn't mean it can't be fixed or improved- for instance, Google already has a custom search engine option [google.com], and I think it would be really interesting if (using something like Google's webmaster tools) that could be tied into this. It even allows you to plug it into an adsense account to make some money, or prevent direct competitors' ads from showing up.
      I obviously got a little off track there, so I'll get back to my main point- the idea that people should just shut up and take whats handed to them, or they should shut themselves off from a large part of the internet (which is basically what they'd be doing), is appallingly naive and just plain useless.
      • Re:Opt-out (Score:4, Insightful)

        by smallfries (601545) on Monday March 24, 2008 @10:54AM (#22845002) Homepage
        You've missed some of the puzzle. It is not entirely about what a webmaster wants. It is about what Google wants, and also what the websurfer wants. In this case the "new feature" being touted is simply the old site: keyword with a new interface. When the surfer decides to hunt for information on one particular domain - it is not about what the webmaster wants, it is about what all three parties want.

        The reason that it seems so black and white is that the complaints here are from greedy bastards trying to increase their slice of the pie. If a user a clicks on the ad from a competitor within a site search then guess what - the competitor looked more interesting. By censoring these ads the customer would lose out, and Google would lose out on revenue. Allowing the webmaster to restrict the set of ads shown on searches of their site would make it less black and white, but even doing this "a little" would damage the interests of the other two parties.

        These claims are from the "luddite" segment of the web - who thought that deep linking somehow breached their copyright. If you want to compete on the web then provide good content and watch the traffic come to you. If these people think that they have trouble no then just wait for the first generation of decent semantic web tools (current rates of progress, what 10yrs?). Walled gardens won't work anymore. Trying to drown the competition won't work anymore. Trying to support pisspoor content on 15pages with one hundred ads per page wont work, and crying that free access to the information breaks your business model won't make it change.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by v(*_*)vvvv (233078)
      Ya. And if your son is being bullied at school, just home school him.

      Google is huge. Removing your site from google is like shooting yourself in the foot.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wiseman1024 (993899)
        Okay. Then don't remove it. It's this simple. Take it or leave it. Of course, you don't expect to benefit from something without letting this something benefit from you, and you don't expect Google in particular to lick your ass, right? Google, for one, is a corporation that knows who its customers are and who they have to serve. They don't lick other corporations' assholes much like, say, Microsoft and Apple do by backstabbing their customers - the people that give them money - with defective by design pro
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Wiseman1024 (993899)
          Lol, flamebait? I'm on users/customers' side. I don't see how this would be flamebait, unless you're Microsoft or Appl OH SHI- ...fanboys!
          • by sm62704 (957197)
            OH SHI- ...fanboys!

            More likely astroturfers. I hope when they mod something flamebait and the comment is eventually modded "insightful" despite their mod, their karma goes into the toilet.
        • by Ogive17 (691899)
          Take the blinders off, google is getting more scary each passing day. Pretty soon the government will start spying on citizens using the data google stores on everyone.

          You can't be anti-big business yet think google's shit smells like roses.
      • by NickCatal (865805)
        I don't think the idea is to remove ALL of your site from Google, just the stuff that the search would help you with.

        It is a mixed blessing here. Like search for newegg [google.com] on Google and you will see one of these boxes. It sucks compared to Newegg's base search. But for a lot of sites, their internal search is horrible.
  • There must be some way for Google to allow web designers and retailers to give exclusions, just like they do with Adsense. It's a good idea and practice, but hopefully the bugs are worked out.
    • Re:exclusions? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mysidia (191772) on Monday March 24, 2008 @02:25AM (#22842580)

      They may use robots.txt exclusion to exclude their site from site search. All they need do is exclude / to remove themselves from the google index.

      Or exclude everything except the front page from being crawled.

      Of course they won't want to do this, because the resulting drop in pagerank and traffic from search results are much more costly than a few visitors finding ads for a competitor listed in search results.

      By the way, if they buy the keywords, _they_ can put up ads that may appear on search-within-site of _their_ competitors too.

      I fail to see any duty of a search engine being to protect you against your competition. Search engines may even offer contrary opinions..

      Search for "Xyz Shop" -> "Xyz Shop, INC. is only rated 1 out of 5 by visitors. 5 out of 5 visitors like 'ABC Shop, INC. Better', do you want to search for that, instead?"

      Until they click the link to choose a search result for _your_ site, they are not your customer, they're not even your prospective customer, their only relationship is with the search engine (as a user), and the pages they are viewing are dynamically generated, sponsored by the search provider, making them completely within the search provider's discretion.

  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QMalcolm (1094433) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:36AM (#22842346)
    I can see why some would be upset over this "new" feature (really just a nice automatic way of site:www.example.com) but Google's search is so often better than the actual site's that I find it hard to get mad. Try searching for a wikipedia article using the internal search, then try google's. Especially for stuff like typos and broad subjects, google's search is much better.
    • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:52AM (#22842444) Journal
      This is just another example of a story who's only substance is that the general public are now aware of something commonplace to the average /.er

      The story seems to be the general reaction, not the feature.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CopaceticOpus (965603)
      What difference does it make if some companies don't like Google's results? They may be the biggest site on the web but they're also just a search engine. They can show whatever the heck they want when someone searches for Best Buy. They could show only Circuit City results, or pictures of iguanas, or whatever. Google doesn't complain about what Best Buy puts on their website.

      If companies are unhappy about the results, they can always pay to place ads. If the end users aren't happy, they can always use anot
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      If you had the google toolbar (like I do, it's the only toolbar I ever install) then you already had a nice easy way to search the current site with google. Just type some keywords in the google search box, and pick "current site" off the search dropdown. It also has a nice handy button to highlight the words you searched for in the page so you can find them if the site has a lot of text (not likely) as well as one button for each word you searched for that performs a find in the page for that word.
    • by houghi (78078)
      Always nice to see some people panicking over something that happens and then not show where the actual panick originated.
      The original article is most likely this one with a link to some sample.

      You can try out comapnies yourselves. bwm does nothing. Nasa gives a result. wikipedia as well.

      This is all on the Google site. I have not yet found a company site that uses Google (payed, not free) and get the seconday search.

      What they do on their own site is their business. If they would do it on a site of one of th
    • Adapt or Die.

      There's always the BDSM market, and I hear they're paying a premium for quality work!

  • !new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeff321 (695543) * on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:37AM (#22842348)
    The "site:" search has been around nearly as long as Google itself. All Google did was make it easier to use, and now companies are complaining about this "new" tool?
    • Exactly. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by v(*_*)vvvv (233078)
      This feature is old. Some more free pr for google.

      Neither is the problem new. If you place google ads on your site google can put links to competitors in their ad space.

      This is an interesting case study for UI though. Google basically enhanced their UI to be more user friendly, and got a reaction from it. Goes to show how naive google is about UI. Keep It Simple Stupid has gotten them here, but with all the new features available, they haven't done much to make any of them that accessible or easier to use.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      They would have complained earlier but the feature was too hard to find :)
    • "site:" predates Google. Altavista and Yahoo used to have it before Google existed.
  • by itsdave (105030) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:39AM (#22842366)
    I could do a search with "site:www.bestbuy.com" for years now. wtf you talking about new feature?
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:41AM (#22842372) Journal
    Data is data. If you are like me, you won't be seeing the ads anyway. When I'm searching data, complex searches reveal the best results in most cases. Being able to search within results is a form of complex search and can be specified by the searcher to start with, Google has simply made this easier. If Google is doing something bad, people are welcome to not have their data indexed by Google. Anyone can search your site via Google and present their own ads next to it. Yes Google is the 800 lb search gorilla, but get real here.

    No, I do not think Google is beyond doing evil. I just haven't seen them do any yet.

    No matter how technology changes what data we see and how we see it someone is going to be inconvenienced. I am sincerely hoping the US government is the next to be inconvenienced by large amounts of publicly available data. If a few website owners get caught in the mix... meh.

    Talk to the buggy makers and shoe cobblers, I'm certain that they will have great sympathy for you.
  • Hmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Adambomb (118938) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:43AM (#22842386) Journal
    Presenting users with choices amongst related businesses.

    Oh the aggression. How dare an indexing company make it easier for consumers to view multiple sources for related queries to increase the revenue of their longstanding business model. Removing means of retaining "captive audience" style market research and manipulation is definitely not needed by anyone!

    I believe the response for this as a current common colloquialism is "cry more, noobs".
    • by mobiGeek (201274)

      I believe the response for this as a current common colloquialism is "cry more, noobs".



      Yes, but unfortunately their response is likely to be Google has (yet again) violated the DMCA!!


      We're gonna sue your ass!!

    • Turning the knob (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Donny Smith (567043)
      >How dare an indexing company make it easier for consumers to view multiple sources for related queries to increase the revenue of their longstanding business model.

      I would care if I paid the fuckers a fee to bring those customers to my web site.

      Sure, the site: option has been around for a while but it's not been very prominent and/or easy to use.

      A Google Ads customer now has to pay more more time to keep the competition off the site one more time.

      A smart person can tell by now how this is going to work
    • Presenting users with choices amongst related businesses.

      More to your point, what is really the harm in presenting competitors' links when searching a business for products?

      For example, I would expect ads for "Circuit City" to show up when I search "Best Buy" about as often as I would expect to see ads for "Best Buy" come up when I search "Circuit City."
      Wouldn't that have a net canceling effect?

      IF a retailer wanted to get up in arms about something it would have to be that this practice would now requi
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Monday March 24, 2008 @01:52AM (#22842442)
    If the brand name is offering a better deal, why be concerned....
  • indexing their content in the first place. As I see it turn around it fair play. How many law suites has google had to defend against from print media. If you ask me it fair play
  • This quietly introduced feature shows a level of aggressivity that is unparalleled and supertastic in scale! Bestbuy will find it difficult to compete at the same level as Google and an official documented protest is expected to be filed due to the fact this feature encourages users to explore alternatives which will be detrimental to the outlets bottom line. There has been comments made suggesting the FTC may investigate Googles practices for being anti-competitive but there is a competing rumor that that
  • This is new? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AsmordeanX (615669) on Monday March 24, 2008 @02:09AM (#22842522)
    I've been using site:www.example.com for years.
  • are Google deceiving search users into visiting the sites of advertisers? Google ads tend to be fairly obvious as Google ads, if they were doing something sneaky like inserting adverts into search results, then that would be different IMO.
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      For those who haven't noticed, they have a different background colour, and are tagged "Sponsored Link" at the top of the container.
  • Users want choices. So haters (here: lock-in-loving corporate fascists) can go fuck themselves.

    The "problem" as stated is that when I search for option A I will also be presented with options B and C instead of being contained within option A.

    There are countries for the latter sort of scenario. Most of us luckily do not live in one, and most that do would happily not.
  • Ah, yet another class of ads to locate, rate, and filter. Now Adblock [mozilla.org] and CustomizeGoogle [customizegoogle.com] need to be updated.

    We probably should look into rating the advertisers with AdRater [sitetruth.com]. Outright ad blocking seems overkill for this class of ad, but rating doesn't interfere with user searches.

    The revolt against excessive advertising is growing. Sao Paulo, Brazil eliminated outdoor advertising last year. All of it. [flickr.com]

    • by pembo13 (770295)
      I wish I knew what you're talking about. No one is talking about more ads, or a new class of ads.
  • by heroine (1220) on Monday March 24, 2008 @02:19AM (#22842560) Homepage
    Since they were negative about GOOG, they'll have to be modded down to -5.
  • Real purpose exposed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by noidentity (188756)
    So, a tool allows customers to more quickly find information on a company's website. That's bad. The customer should instead get frustrated and have to wade through lots of crap to find the information. No wonder I hate more and more modern websites. I love Google's site: feature and use it all the time to cut through the crap. Also, Google often shows top-level pages under a search result, for example searching for slashdot [google.com] gives several news sections as sub links under the first result. Of course a compan
    • You missed the point.

      The issue is that people are paying money to Google (Google Ads) to bring users to their Web site.
      Once it becomes easy to put another layer of (competitors') ads on the publisher's Web site, if the publisher can't opt out and if they want to keep competitors' ads from being prominently displayed on their own web site they will have to pay for ads one more time (and this is their own web site). To add insult to injury this time the "optimized" Google ad machine can ask for a significantl
      • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
        Once it becomes easy to put another layer of (competitors') ads on the publisher's Web site, if the publisher can't opt out and if they want to keep competitors' ads from being prominently displayed on their own web site they will have to pay for ads one more time (and this is their own web site). To add insult to injury

        What BS. Have you ever actually *used* google?

        The ads are at the top and right hand side of the google search page. They give the customer more options. This is called competition. This
  • You can already do searches like this using the "site:" function. For example searching only slashdot on google is easy by adding "site:slashdot.org" to the end of your search.

    Even though Google has this function, however, it is not completely useful. Their index isn't updated instantaneously so often it lags behind days or even weeks. Polling sites on the internet is too much and if a provider notices excessive queries from Google it is pretty easy to limit the number of times they can hit your site or

  • So basically, these companies are crying over the fact that, if you search on a term that gives you this extra site: search box, that maybe you'll see ads from competitors? Despite the fact that the primary search results that you'll get will ALL be from the company's site?

    BOO FUCKING HOO

    So Google has made site: more easily accessible to the average user. Big fucking whoop. These companies can go pound sand as far as I'm concerned. Who the hell clicks on the sponsored links anyway?
  • Unless I am missing something, it would appear that the "Sponsored Links" section that everyone is complaining about along the right side of the page disappears when the "site:" keyword is used. It would appear that this mountain is now not even a mole hill.
  • This ought to be a wake-up call to businesses running a site: update your search features to work. Too often I find a site's own search box useless, it either doesn't return good results or tries to route me through what the site operator wants me to see instead of to the pages I want to see. Google's search probably won't. Not even a contest between them, far as I'm concerned. If the site doesn't like that, then they need to fix their search function.

  • google's providing a service to the user doing the search.

    users are free to come and go from a site as they please, they are not the property of any web site.

    the sooner site owners realise that trying to lock-in users to their site just pisses people off, the better off they (and the users) will be.

  • You could always do this using the "site:" modifier, say you want to search bestbuy.com for memory, the query would be
    site:bestbuy.com memory

    Done.
  • While it's very clever to say to use "robots.txt", it doesn't really help. If you have a well laid out site, that has been made as searchable via Google as possible, then it's not particularly clever to prevent Google from indexing the site. Thus, robots.txt isn't really a solution for those people.
  • This is ridiculous (Score:3, Informative)

    by nevali (942731) on Monday March 24, 2008 @07:22AM (#22843518) Homepage
    1. This is just a nice UI to sticking "site:example.com"in the search terms (something many consumers don't know how to do)

    2. Most sites' internal search engines suck balls, don't work at all, or even don't exist.

    3. The consumer is already using Google, and these companies go out of their way to get the pages and products listed and ranked well in the SERPs; suddenly they complain when Google makes it even easier for people to find things on their sites?

    I smell a red herring.
  • I would say this is an overall benefit to users searching for information, given the awful state of many sites' internal search functionality (including Slashdot).

    e.g. Search for the story a few days ago about India voting against OOXML [slashdot.org]. After a while, Slashdot gives you this [slashdot.org]. Note the lack of the article in question

    Compare this with Google's site: results [google.com]. Indeed Google seem to index more frequently and deeper than most sites' own search systems do.

    Using Google's search-within-a-search (or site: f

  • The problem with the fuss and complaints about this is that those who loose visitors due to this just doesn't bother to offer a splendid service.

    This goes to help the user, and potentially directing users to BETTER services, and those who loose visitors due to this doesn't want to spend money to actually make a better service, ie. their sole intention is to only get money through the portion of their service on which they might loose visitors due to this.

    However, likely the visitors they loose are already t
  • I bet if this was about Microsoft Search (or Yahoo!) doing the same thing - Slashdot would be up in arms about Microsoft's (or Yahoo!'s) horrible behavior and how web folks ought not to put up with such.
     
    But it's Google, and as always Google gets a free pass.
  • God forbid Google thinks of its userbase rather than its advertisers for once.
  • There are a bunch of sites that I habitually search by googling "site:company.example.com rest of search".

    And others where I use the site's search, because it works better than google.

    All this is doing is shortcutting that step, and when I just tried it for Best Buy and did a secondary search for "linksys router", I didn't get any links outside Best Buy and I didn't get any ads.
  • Mr. Rimm-Kaufman said the new Google service also diminishes a Web publisher's role in helping users find potentially useful content. "You may want to editorialize differently when someone searches, and maybe put a premium on certain reporters or content," he said. "This moves you further out of the loop."

    So when you see a "Referrer" that matches /.*google.*site:$mysite/ parse the search they used out of it.
  • ...why is it that people are concerned with this sort of thing? Doesn't anyone see a problem that a lot of what we do as a society appears to be driven by sales? Especially when there's no real money to back up the sales? I would think that if we were a healthy society, we would encourage technologies that empower the citizens to make the best choices for themselves. Technology should be here to make the world better for everyone, not to make money for a select few.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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