The New York Times reports that Google has unveiled a new search trick, allowing users on Google to search within a specific site and generate results without visiting that site. Google sells ads against this additional captive traffic, sometimes for competing brands. SEO Smarty has a good post on this, as well. It also shows that Google’s searches may not reflect the quality of the searches from the brand (i.e., Google can produce out-of-date, less focused search results, yet users may think they’re getting what the branded content source’s search would provide). From a brand perspective, this could be problematic.

For publishers who invest in specialized search solutions and generate page views from search, this may seem like overreach. Or it may provide some publishers with a better search entry point than they currently have.

As the head of puts it, Google was “seeing a huge amount of searches on their service from folks trying to find a piece of content written by a name-brand publisher. Google is probably trying to get additional usage out of their product and monetize those page views.”

Is this an opportunity? Or a threat?

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.