A Serious Threat? Google’s Second Search Box

With the launch of Google’s Second Search Box are Publishers under a serious threat to their digital revenue streams? AdViking believes this is the case for two primary reasons:

  • Lost Revenue
  • Loss of User Control

Lost Revenue

Based on the recent crunching of revenue numbers, the general trend seems to be that Google’s revenue growth is at the cost of traditional media owners. Meaning that if any Publisher doesn’t see this as an additional direct and competitive threat to their business, then they really need to wake up and smell the coffee.

From early feedback AdViking has received, Publishers are giving mixed reviews to the Second Search Box. The more forward thinking and strategic are aghast and the less aggressive aren’t too worried and are saying that increased traffic will make up for the lost revenue of that initial hit. This is erroneous thinking for a few reasons:

In the short term, the loss of traffic will lead directly to lost revenue.

In the medium term, by counting on this additional boost in traffic, Publishers will become even more indebted to Google for driving traffic.

In the long term, as Publisher metrics worsen (eCPM, traffic, etc.) then this will lose to the further loss of advertisers as they spend more and more money with Google.

Loss of User Experience Control

Publishers have spent a lot of time and money working on the User Experience, especially as Search as moved to the primary method of finding content, the relevancy models for their search results.

By allowing Google to apply a one-size-fits all model, then all of the benefits of knowing your content, knowing your users, etc. is thrown out the window.

Below are two different examples that show the negative impact of the Google’s Second Search Box on User Experience.

Bear Stearns on New York Times

The New York Times- Search for 'bear stearns'_1206704850814

bear stearns site-nytimes.com - Google Search_1206704880625

Laptop on BestBuy

clip_image001[1]

laptop site-bestbuy.com - Google Search_1206704989247

Postscript:

  • Official Google post about Second Site Search
  • The cynic in AdViking questions, will these feature go away after the end of Q1?
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3 Responses to A Serious Threat? Google’s Second Search Box

  1. Johnny says:

    The follow up query is often where the money is. E.g.

    Best Buy > then > Canon Powershot

    Google can serve higher yield ads on the second query than the first.

    If I were an online retailer that just got a second search box I’d be pretty unhappy.

  2. […] the official Google blog post on this new feature. Search Insider has some good points and so does AdViking that are worth reviewing as […]

  3. […] fear is probably why the 2nd Search Box hasn’t got much airplay and when you think about it, this is nothing more than a protection […]

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