Google have for some time now been inserting search boxes under the results of certain website listings.
What is the reason for these appearing and how can you get it for your site?
The official response from Google is as follows
“This feature will now occur when we detect a high probability that a user wants more refined search results within a specific site. Like the rest of our snippets, the sites that display the site search box are chosen algorithmically based on metrics that measure how useful the search box is to users”
What can you do to increase the likelihood of your site triggering a search with the search results box?
1. Feature your search box highly on your homepage, at least above the fold and the better position and share of screen real estate the more likely Google are to appreciate the importance of search to the site.
2. Make sure the search box is on every page by making search an integral element of your whole site design. It will increase the usability of your site but also clearly indicate that search is an important element of your onsite navigation.
3. Describe your search functionality descriptively – It might be tempting to leave a blank text field with a spyglass and expect the user to understand that the box is for search, really you should have next nearby calling it search and also call the divs it’s operating in search etc.
4. Consider using Google’s site search functionality – Google offer website owners the opportunity to use their search technology for their internal search, this isn’t such a bad idea generally as sometimes internal search can offer a poor user experience. Also it may send a signal to Google that your site has search built into the site.
But beware though, if anyone uses the search within search results they remain within Google, allowing them to trigger adverts potentially for your competitors as displayed on the screen grab below on the right for a search for ‘sofa’ on Argos.
Click to enlarge