Google Testing New Results

A related query results play. IE, search for "On Demand" and get results with "Comcast" related pages. Readers had been telling me this, but I could not confirm it. Now it appears Mediapost has. This has some interesting business model implications, when you think about it – certainly Google…

A related query results play. IE, search for “On Demand” and get results with “Comcast” related pages. Readers had been telling me this, but I could not confirm it. Now it appears Mediapost has. This has some interesting business model implications, when you think about it – certainly Google would never do paid inclusion, but this is the kind of thing that might allow for such a move should the company fall into the hands of the Dark Side.

Update: Google PR has given me a statement on this:

Google is testing an automated technique for detecting when an alternate

query might help users find what they are looking for more quickly. For

these searches, which are both commercial and non-commercial in nature,

Google displays one or more alternate queries together with a preview of

their top results.

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

12 thoughts on “Google Testing New Results”

  1. It looks like we and ClickZ got the same tip from an SEO/PR firm. Someone at Google confirmed to me they’re definitely not sponsored listings nor paid inclusion, just a function similar to Google Suggest, which fills in extra search terms based on what it thinks you’re looking for. Although a lot of the searches look commercial some do not: “world” yields “world maps,” without links to a particular company, and “able” yields “able labs,” with links to news stories about the drug company’s test-fudging scandals.

  2. Gary Price talked about it on Aug 5:
    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/050805-110030

    They’ren’t “commercial” results among organic ones, but -as Gary claimed- a suggestion of other keywords to be searched.

    In the case of “on demand”, Google’s clustering system suggests “comcast on demand”, since they are thousand of pages including these three words.

    I think it could be useful for some searches, but perhaps a little confusing for some people.

  3. It looks like it offers a refinement of the query based on statistical support. Try “Francisco”; it will suggest a “San” in front. My guess is that it’s mined from their query logs.

  4. From the PR: “For these searches, which are both commercial and non-commercial in nature, Google displays one or more alternate queries together with a preview of their top results.”

    What do they mean by “commercial an dnon-commercial in nature”? That some of the alternate queries/results are paid placements (aka “commercial”)?

  5. Do you think shopowners will eventually open up their inventory sytems so that you could one day google local products based on their barcode or product number? For example, lets say you live at 123 fake st and you want to buy SpeedStick “Ocean Breeze” deodorant. The idea is that you could put that word into google “Product” and find the closest store that offers what you’re loking for. This could of course ultimately be linked to credit cards so you could buy the product before you got to the store. Obviously, deodorant isn’t the best example, but you see where I’m going…

    whatcha think?

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