Experts disagree on search-within-search
As in the blogosphere, search engine experts are torn about the search-within-search feature's effect on the search industry. Jerome Pesenti, chief scientist of enterprise search provider Vivisimo, said he sees the feature as inspiring fair competition. "Why wouldn't Google be allowed to provide an extra service 'for free'? End users still have the choice," Pesenti told eWEEK. "As with all competition, it will put the pressure on the publisher to improve their own site search. Some of them may drop off the game while other may choose to get serious about it and add a search that can be better than Google."Steve Papa, CEO of enterprise search provider Endeca, said retailers have invested millions in search and information access technology to create a differentiated customer experience. "Google's latest foray is the equivalent of browsing the aisles of Circuit City and being greeted by a Best Buy salesperson," Papa told eWEEK. "It's no wonder why retailers are having an adverse reaction to what is, in essence, a move by Google to hijack their customers." Feldman meanwhile said Google's search-within-search tool actually creates a search problem. She said some retail sites take great pains to optimize results for their traffic, by getting customers to products in the fewest number of clicks. Search-within-search nullifies these efforts, she argued. She also suggested that Google created search-within-search to counter the flattening of search revenue. "The salvation for Web search revenue, in the long run, is to nurture and cultivate affiliate sites," she wrote, noting that Google rivals such as Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL should seize on the fear instilled by the search-within-search feature to target affiliates.
However, he added that if Google wanted to really play fair, it would give the option to the publishers to put their own search box in the search results.