Google is attempting a resurgence of a search feature they rolled out a few years back. It is essentially a search box within the actual search you perform. This sounds a little puzzling at first, but it is actually quite simple. We have seen this in the past but this one appears to be a more user-friendly version so far. This is basically a reformatted version to offer a bigger, more noticeable option to engage users. A few years back it was incorporated on a limited number of brands, but now we are seeing it expand. More and more brands are getting this function. Prime examples are companies like Microsoft and universities such as Princeton. The search box usually appears just below the first organic search result.
When you perform a search on the little box, it will still keep you on Google, not take you to the actual site. However the SERP page will provide a list of results pertaining to the site you just searched, such as Microsoft. I have a feeling this will be a feature people could take or leave, considering Google took a shot at it a few years back and pretty much let it go down the drain. Google is just testing it out again right now to see how users interact with it and what the results could bring.
Looking at this from an analytics standpoint, it could be a little frightening. Will sites suffer in terms of average visit duration, time on page, number of pages visited and so on? How will the bounce rate look?
It will definitely be interesting to see how this plays out with Google. Do you think the average person performing a Google search would use this feature? Or would most people not even really notice it? Let us know your thoughts on this below.
“Search Within A Search: Google Testing New Search Box” by Amy Gesenhues
“Google Tests New Site Search Box” by Alex Chitu