Google Expanded Search: Delivering More Ads, But Less Relevant Results

Rimm-Kaufman Group, Monday, March 24, 2008 1 PM
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The new expanded search, or "Search Within the Site" (SWTS) feature on Google seems like a great service for users, as it allows them to refine results on their own before they reach their chosen Web site. For example, a search for "laptops" with the expanded search option for IT supplier CDW should eliminate the need to root around for the laptop section. But as Alan Rimm-Kaufman illustrates, the SWTS results actually serve users ads alongside the expanded listings--ads that aren't quite relevant to their original query.

Rimm-Kaufman uses screenshots and the aforementioned CDW example, noting that during his search for "laptops" within CDW, he's presented with ads for Dell, HP and Lenovo laptops, in addition to retailers like Office Depot.

"Serving competitor ads against SWTS serps is a bad user experience, Google. You're ignoring what your users asked for," Rimm-Kaufman says. "When someone asks for results from, don't toss ads at them for and That's tossing burger at vegetarians. Yes, you pick up additional revenue doing it, but don't be evil."

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