Google’s New Search Within the Site (SWTS):  An Improvement in Searcher Experience or Just Another O

Google’s recent launch of their new Search within the Site (SWTS) feature has created quite a stir in the marketing Blogs and publications as of late. The feature has been added to some of the larger sites on the internet, particularly publishers such as the Washington Post and New York Times.

  The Google PR team has announced this as a breakthrough for searchers to assist them in further pinpointing the correct pages within the site, and hails this as a boon for small website businesses that do not have good internal search features. However, the Google SWTS system appears to be much less intuitive than the advanced search functions of most of the larger sites.

  Many larger sites, along with professional and special interest sites, have put considerable research and time into developing the best set of responses to visitor inquiries, and it would be too optimistic at this point of the game to assume Google will automatically put forth a more intuitive search engine listing of pages than the business itself. Ironically, the search the site feature has been enabled in only very large sites so far, so those small promotional websites are not yet experiencing this predicted advantage.

  Some websites have already requested the SWTS be disabled and Google has obliged, though spokespersons say that they may not be able to reverse this decision later. It’s difficult to see a logical or profitable reason for this statement. An Opt-out feature is predicted within the next month or so.

  Now, let’s talk about how Google will see revenue increases while website ad revenue could suffer. When the searcher uses the Search within the Site feature, pages within that site related to the search topic are listed without leaving Google. An additional offering of Google Adwords pay per click ads related to the search topic (see above) now show up giving users an opportunity to be enticed to the sites’ competitors. Google gets an extra round of Adwords dollars and the website owner loses any marketing revenue from sponsored ads he would have received by visitors searching from his actual site. If this SWTS feature takes hold, it could present more creative search engine marketing challenges for businesses and marketing agencies alike.

  The online marketing gurus out there seem to have mixed reviews regarding the degree to which the Search within the Site function will impact both websites with the feature and Google’s advertisement revenue. Time will tell as always in the ever-changing world of internet marketing.

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