Google has begun to roll out an improved sitelinks search box on its engine that gives searchers a direct link to content buried within a brand's site, but requires the use of schema.org mark-up language.
When users search for something on a company's Web site, rather than searching on the brand name, Sony, they can type in "sony vaio." The search feature takes the searcher to a list of pages that feature information about the VAIO, although all appear on Google's search engine, rather than the exact page on the brand's site.
No word on whether Google will offer competitive AdWords paid-search campaigns in the results. Sony sold its VAIO brand business earlier this year to Japan Industrial Partners. Does it make sense for Apple to bid on non-branded terms to serve up in the results?
The search box sits above the sitelinks, supports Autocomplete, and when using the correct mark-up language, will send the user directly to the brand's search pages on their Web site, explains Mariya Moeva, webmaster trends analyst; and Kaylin Spitz, software engineer.
The tool requires that the brand have a working on-site search engine and using the mark-up code on the homepage as "a schema.org/WebSite entity with the potentialAction property of the schema.org/SearchAction markup," Google explains. "You can use JSON-LD, microdata, or RDFa to do this; check out the full implementation details on our developer site."
The brand will need to remain aware of any redirect pages on its site.
In the past, Google's algorithms recognized a more specific search to display a larger set of sitelinks. Users would see and an additional search box below that search result.