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A New Tool From Google Worries Brand-Name Sites

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the first-they-came-for-the-new-york-times dept.

Google 168

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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They don't complain (5, Insightful)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842324)

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).

Re:They don't complain (5, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:They don't complain (4, Informative)

HUADPE (903765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842776)

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.

Re:They don't complain (4, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842436)

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.

Re:They don't complain (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842656)

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.

Re:They don't complain (1, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843502)

content libraries, yes. But a lot of that content isn't theirs.

Re:They don't complain (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842720)

> 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.

Re:They don't complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842992)

I wouldn't be so quick to say that those sites need Google more than Google needs them. Many new blogs are discovered from sites that are not Google (for example, if they are linked to on Digg or Reddit). These sites may build up a niche market of users on their own and make money off of ads. Now Google comes in and their search-in-search takes away from the site's traffic and makes money off this with their own ads. People who would have searched that site using the site's own search are now using Google. Sure it is a matter of convenience to not put in the :site specifier. But regardless, those people who built up their own communities and sites and technologies are going to lose out from all this. There should be some easy public way to opt out IMO.

Re:They don't complain (4, Informative)

Spliffster (755587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843254)

"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).


Get a search aggregator (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842326)

www.copernic.com that already has search within the results

Opt-out (4, Insightful)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842330)

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

Re:Opt-out (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842570)

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 (5, Insightful)

tedivm (942879) | more than 6 years ago | (#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 (1)

dookiesan (600840) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842986)

You are allowed to complain if windows-live does it. If both windows-live and google do it, then you can complain about Google by proxy unless someone figures out what you are doing.

Re:Opt-out (2, Insightful)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842852)

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:Opt-out (3, Insightful)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842920)

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 products that work at media corporations' service.

Re:Opt-out (2, Insightful)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843288)

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!

Re:Opt-out (1)

NickCatal (865805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843336)

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.

exclusions? (1)

AdamReyher (862525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842336)

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? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842394)

Why would they? They are a monopo;y now and can do anything they want.

Re:exclusions? (4, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842470)

Monopoly where?

Online advertising? [google.ca]

search? [google.ca]

Definitely not webmail.

Theres a difference between having a monopoly, and being the best at what you do in a market by a significant margin.

Re:exclusions? (1)

Panseh (1072370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842554)

search? [google.ca]
Google itself doesn't even show up until the third page. This alone disproves those monopoly accusations!

Re:exclusions? (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Agressiveness (1)

modernmyths (1259010) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842340)

'Google is showing a level of aggressiveness with this that's just not needed,' WTF is aggressiveness? Why can't anyone use 'aggression' anymore in the news? Maybe Im just cranky and I need to feed my hungriness.

Re:Agressiveness (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842458)

WTF is aggressiveness? Why can't anyone use 'aggression' anymore in the news?


1. the quality of being bold and enterprising
2. a feeling of hostility that arouses thoughts of attack [syn: aggression]
3. a natural disposition to be hostile

Aggression is only a synonym for *one* definition of the word.

Dictionaries are wonderful things. Try using one sometime...

Re:Agressiveness (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842624)

I think you've just increased my knowledgeness!

Re:Agressiveness (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842974)

I now feel enlighenedness. "Hooked of Phonix worked for me"-ness

Re:Agressiveness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842736)

The guy's a web consultant don't expect him to be educated.

Re:Agressiveness (1)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842938)

Parent is insightful.

So... (4, Insightful)

QMalcolm (1094433) | more than 6 years ago | (#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... (3, Insightful)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842444)

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:So... (2, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842616)

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 another search engine. However, this new feature does seem like it will make users happy, which is what ultimately helps Google to succeed.

Re:So... (2, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843208)

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.

The originating article (2, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843348)

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 their customers without asking, that might indeed upset them.

As far as I can see the secondary popup happens only to companies who are already customer and do have such a searchengine on their site anyway.

So instead of doing a search on google, find the site, click on that site and then do the 'search site with google' you do the search, then do the search and then get the results from that specific site. Good for Google as it can server more adds. Bad for Googles customers, as they do get lesser visitors.

Note to buggy whip manufacturers.... (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843536)

Adapt or Die.

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

!new (5, Insightful)

Jeff321 (695543) | more than 6 years ago | (#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?

Re:!new (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842864)

True. And if they're so worried about it, they can restrict Google to only search their root page..

Exactly. (2, Interesting)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842894)

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:!new (2, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843062)

They would have complained earlier but the feature was too hard to find :)

Re:!new (1)

D4MO (78537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843302)

And it's been in their toolbar for donkeys (which I use *a lot*)

how is this new? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842354)

Search within search? Sounds like search within site to me. I think the article should be titled "Google adds ads to their search within site feature." They already have a search within site feature. It's on their page and on their toolbar. Btw if case you've never used it, IT SUCKS. It is seriously awful. If the target website is set up in a way that google can't understand, you'll get no results for anything. And sometimes you won't find something with search within site that you will find by looking around manually. Add ads to it and even less people are going to bother with it.

this is a new feature? (5, Insightful)

itsdave (105030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842366)

I could do a search with "site:www.bestbuy.com" for years now. wtf you talking about new feature?

Re:this is a new feature? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842478)

If you click 'More results from www.example.com ', you now get a second search bar with which to search within the site. That's what the NYT is going on about. Not sure how new that is either, since I rarely click on that.

Re:this is a new feature? (4, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842688)

Really the only big difference is the fact that the second search bar shows up for anyone...the whole market...as opposed to being a select percentage that happen to know site:etc.

The percentage of people that didn't know and/or didn't care is the exact demographic that these sites' marketing are targeting for the most part. I can't imagine a single marketing deparment anywhere where people are going "hey, isn't it neat that google is allowing for (at least slightly more) informed consumers?".

Companies hate having to adapt to change until they really really have to. Sadly this kind of bluster is cheaper and easier than actually trying to ensure ones product or service markets itself by the spec rather than cheap psychology, and sometime actually works (ie: if the company backs down on its own, or if they turn public sentiment against them).

Calling this aggression is an admission of a lack of alternative marketing strategies that do NOT require a first-call-sale type doctrine. Suckers.

Motivation for fixing sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842368)

Maybe this will get web administrators to have more friendly sites. I hate trying to find a link on a site and being forced to go back to google to search something like "jobs site:www.washingtonpost.com". Too many sites are just hard to navigate causing a definite need for this new google tool.

I very loudly call BULLSHIT (4, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842372)

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.

Re:I very loudly call BULLSHIT (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842450)

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

Out of curiosity, what would you consider "evil"? They keep doing stuff, and people keep making excuses for them. They could start sacrificing puppies to baal, and somebody would point out they're not really evil because they're only using stray puppies.

Honestly, I think you've been taken in by meaningless marketting fluff.

Re:I very loudly call BULLSHIT (0, Offtopic)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842518)

Sorry to hear about your puppy, dude.

Re:I very loudly call BULLSHIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842660)

If we're willing to support Bob Barker's proactive plea to prevent pet overpopulation via spaying or neutering our pets, we sure as hell will get behind Google's reactive request to sacrifice stray puppies to Baal; it's the least we can do.

Hmm. (4, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842386)

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".

Re:Hmm. (1)

mobiGeek (201274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842564)

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!!

Re:Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842738)

I do believe the correct spelling is "CRY MOAR, FAGGOTS". Common mistake, the keys are like right next to each other.

Re:Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842810)

It is easy to say that as a random person on the Internet who does not have a stake in this matter. However, consider this:
What if you were operating a web site which over a couple years built up a niche community. You have created a market where there was none before and now because these users traffic your website, you make money through ads and such. Users searching for information on your site see ads that you place and gain financially from. Now Google comes in, indexes your site, and the search-in-search feature starts to take away from a good deal of the traffic that is searching for specific content on your site. Although google's results do link to your site, the ads you would have served on search result pages are now no longer paying you as much. In essence, you have build up a market of users and Google :: instantly :: steals a portion of that market away from you, regardless of the fact that the market did not exist before.

Does that seem ETHICALLY right? Sure, ethics is all hand-wavy but to me it seems like Google is jacking others' hard-earned money

This feature is in many cases useful to the user as well, so they don't have to type in the :site qualification, and so I wouldn't want this feature to completely disappear. However, I would want Google to publicly provide an opt-out system (perhaps through some addition to Robot Exclusion?) for this functionality.

Re:Hmm. (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843426)

Now Google comes in, indexes your site, and the search-in-search feature starts to take away from a good deal of the traffic that is searching for specific content on your site. Although google's results do link to your site, the ads you would have served on search result pages are now no longer paying you as much.

My heart bleeds for you. Oh wait, actually it doesn't.

You can (and have been able to for years) tell Google to restrict adverts against your trademark [google.com] , either to a group of approved companies or indeed just to no adverts but your own company (example) [google.com] . If you bothered to read the article you'll see that Google will even remove the search-within-search feature for your site if you ask them.

Google doesn't owe you a living, but in this case they give you the tools and the ability to control adverts against your site.


Re:Hmm. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842922)

There should be an opt-out for this through robots.txt or something, because otherwise Google is stealing ad-money from content providers

Turning the knob (2, Interesting)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843074)

>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 (see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/18/when_google_does_evil/ [theregister.co.uk] ). A comments which quotes an insider:
"We know for a fact - because we know what happened at Overture - that when a quarter runs short, you turn the knob and more money comes in," Herring says. "That happens all the time at Overture, and I'm sure it happens at Google. Why wouldn't it? Like you said, it's a publicly traded company."

Yes, not a Google insider, but theirs being a very closed system do you actually believe that they already don't turn (or tune) the knob?

I'm fine with the feature since I don't advertise with Goo, I don't use Google at all (I use Scroogle.org and other sites) and I don't care what they do, but if I were a Google Ads customer I certainly wouldn't be happy about this and would be looking at other options.

search within search (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842412)

Would a search of 'google' result in infinite recursion?

hah (1)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842414)

what ads?

I like to avoid confrontations..... I don't see either

problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842434)

i think the problem is google is essentially using someone elses content with their advertisements. and without their permission. they did not sign up for googles ad program.

Re:problem (2, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842680)

or do you mean they are using googles service without googles permission? oh right, by leaving robot.txt in they are inviting search engines to index their information and search it, the permission to do so is implied.

these company's are just cry babies that fell over each other trying to get top placed google ratings, and now they don't like the tiny bit of competition.

Company's fear competition, news at 11 (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842442)

If the brand name is offering a better deal, why be concerned....

did the news papers have issue with google (2)

teknosapien (1012209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842464)

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

Copyright is the wrong tool for information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842466)

Google deals in information. Copyright controls the expression of information, not the information itself. Will we see further abuses of copyright law as information providers try to shoehorn the information contained in their websites into the protection provided by copyright law?

A quick evalutation (1)

dilvish_the_damned (167205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842474)

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 would be just silly and something akin to an oxymoron. The prevailing opinion is that people are just crying over a pretty nifty feature as per usual, but the individuals who share that opinion are those that would not bother to document anything like that so its currently unmeasurable making the exact aggressiveness hard to calculate ( but we are pretty sure we don't have an algorithm to contain it )

Thanks for pointing out said feature though, I appreciate it, it brightened my morning a little bit.

This is new? (4, Insightful)

AsmordeanX (615669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842522)

I've been using site:www.example.com for years.

Re:This is new? (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842768)

It's not new these people are just behind the times. (A long way behind)

Re:This is new? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843236)

It's news because now a billion of your closest friends will be using it as well.

Re:This is new? (1)

26199 (577806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843386)

May I suggest trying it on other sites as well?

crymeariver (1)

robo_mojo (997193) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842524)

tagged crymeariver

deceiving users? (1)

quick_dry_3 (112334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842532)

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.

Re:deceiving users? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842566)

For those who haven't noticed, they have a different background colour, and are tagged "Sponsored Link" at the top of the container.

Hey, I know (1)

RomulusNR (29439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842544)

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.

More ads to rate and filter (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842558)

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]

Re:More ads to rate and filter (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842846)

I wish I knew what you're talking about. No one is talking about more ads, or a new class of ads.

Negativity about GOOG -5 (2, Funny)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842560)

Since they were negative about GOOG, they'll have to be modded down to -5.

How is it? (1)

MBHkewl (807459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842572)

How is it different from the users using "site:domain.com" ? Instead of having it under advanced options, now they have it as a link/icon...

whose content is it anywat (1)

sijucm (688348) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842582)

Google cannot aggregate content belonging to others to make money. They do that already, but its unethical to show google ads in other content, without their permission. Suggestions of not getting your site indexed by Google is not practical. Everybody knows the power of Google. It is another MS in making story. Though, they are good at what they are doing.

Re:whose content is it anywat (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842662)

"Suggestions of not getting your site indexed by Google is not practical"

why because some tiny search engine like yahoo might not work for you? what a steaming load.

if sites don't like what google is doing, delist. it's as simple as that, let the users have the power to decide how they browse the web not the other way around.

and what exactly makes google another MS in the making? please explain what technological or contractual leverage google is exerting to create it's monopoly?

Re:whose content is it anywat (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843492)

What's unethical about it? Google can do what the hell they like with their search engine.

If your company is so expensive/crappy that having your customers know about the competition will destroy your business model, then it deserves to be destroyed.

new to who? (1)

specific (963862) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842620)

I often use google to find product pages instead of using the site's search, anyway. Sometimes it's just takes fewer clicks.

Real purpose exposed (2, Interesting)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842622)

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 company is always free to put up a robots.txt that tells all search engines not to index their site, if they are worried about customers finding useful information there via a search.

Real purpose missed (1)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843392)

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 significantly higher price than for the same ad placed on the Google Web site.

If there's no opt-out, the feature is bad deal for everyone buying ads from Google.
Yes, they can switch to another ad spammer and make other changes, but that costs money and resources. Goo's constantly changing EULAs and short announcements don't help (again, this is done on purpose so that they can milk out more people for longer time). Hehe, good luck to all the suckers who do business with them.

See no evil.

Re:Real purpose missed (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843516)

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 is a *good* thing.

Google are not forcing you to put competitors ads on your own website and there's no way that they realistically could.

Yay for recursion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842644)

Hmm, maybe redundant but site: has been around for a while. Perhaps the "retailers" are more scared that it's more accessible to the people they target (a.k.a idiots).

On an off topic note, does the internets explode if I type in "site:google.com google"?

Do you click ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842650)

Who are the morons who even click on google ads?! I've become blind to them and don't even notice them except for the #1 spot in search results.

Won't work in all cases (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842686)

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 even block them all together. So they'd only be doing themselves in if they went too far with keeping their index updated.

Another thing is the Google index method is good for certain things but horrible for others. Say for example you were searching for information regarding a specific model of a TV. Unless you know the exact model number or part number, Google isn't going to give you an answer very fast. In most cases your better off going to the site and finding it yourself.

Another thing that really throws Google off is mailing lists. Anytime I search for freebsd things, I always get a bunch of results from random posts in mailing lists that are something completely irrelevant to what I wanted. In fact, the first page of results is often a little random because the algorithm didn't account for the structure of a mailing list and the purpose of the mailing list.

Google's solution is still probably better than the competition, but there are some pretty big rough edges that they seem to have no idea on how to approach. Some of them are pretty mediocre or not even useful like their shopping search (was called froogle).

this just in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842708)

people who leech money out of the internet disturbed by innovation that helps web users

Nothing to see here, move along (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842710)

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?


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?

I think it's already fixed... (2, Interesting)

Peeet (730301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842722)

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.

Still not perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22842730)

I did google for "catholic" and Google did not offer me to consider switching to some other competitive religion.

Wake up, businesses (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842734)

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.

It doesn't work, when... (1)

themoneyish (971138) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842758)

...I search for google! I want to search within google's site!

site: operator (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842828)

All this feature does is offer the site: operator [google.com] through the use of a new search box under the original result.

It's not a "new feature" in terms of what it can do, this has been available for ages. It's just making it easier for people who didn't know how to do it, who no longer have to click on "Advanced Search" [google.com] or learn to type "site:"

whinge whinge whinge (1)

cas2000 (148703) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842940)

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.

The capability has always existed (1)

JRHelgeson (576325) | more than 6 years ago | (#22842998)

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


What? That's new how? (1)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843008)

Whilst I'm not attempting to RTFA and just going by the summary, it sounds like nothing more than what I've always been doing with "site:".

The desires of the user outweigh the providers (1)

waferbuster (580266) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843046)

As an end user, if I can type in a query and get appropriate (if expanded) search results that give me the results I want... more power to the google!
tough luck to those other wankers.

robotstxt tag (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843410)

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.

Yeah, I also want to have my cake and eat it. (2, Insightful)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843574)

Want Goggle to search my site!

But only the parts I really, really want.

This is ridiculous (2, Informative)

nevali (942731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843518)

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.
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