Yahoo Shortcuts, Google OneBox (and AdWords, too?)

Filed in Bing, Google, Local Search, PPC Advertising, Yahoo by Matt McGee on November 9, 2006 0 Comments

Brian Smith just wrapped up a 4-part series on Search Engine Watch about the various ways the major SEs sometimes tweak their SERPs to provide additional information at the top, above the traditional Top 10 listings. You probably know these as “Onebox” results in Google, or as “Shortcuts” in Yahoo. While I was really hoping for something deeper in terms of how various results — in particular, Local Search results — are chosen for display, the series as a whole provides a couple interesting bits of info. Some examples:

Brian asked Google Product Marketing Director Debbie Jaffe about click-through rates.

What is the click-through rate of a Google OneBox result vs. the paid listings above it and the first couple listings below it?

Generally, these results get more clicks than the paid listings but that’s not always the case.

He also asked about where the OneBox results come from:

How do you choose the partners for Google OneBox? Are any of the OneBox results paid placements?

Site owners do not pay to appear in these search results. The search results are algorithmically determined and are from various sources.

Hmmmm. An interesting answer to say the least. I’ve heard or seen three different cases where someone suggested that getting a OneBox listing on Google, especially for local terms, was possibly tied to having an AdWords account that uses geotargeted ads. So, is AdWords one of those “various sources” of local information? I’m not sure I believe there’s a direct correlation, and even there is, the argument could be made that the advertiser is paying for AdWords placement on the right, not for placement in the OneBox. But if more people start to see a relationship, the question has to be asked.

Meanwhile, in the article about Yahoo Shortcuts, Director of Product Management, Mihir Shah, confirms that the Local and Map Shortcuts are the most widely used. Can’t say I’m surprised, given the quality of Yahoo’s Maps and Local Search products.

Here are the links to all four articles:

Google OneBox
Yahoo Shortcuts
Microsoft Instant Answers
Ask.com Smart Answers

[tags]google, yahoo, msn, live search, ask.com, local search, seo, search engine optimization, adwords[/tags]

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