A question pops into your head, you Google it, and within your search results is…another search box. The M.C. Escher drawing of the Google SERPs, “search within a search” is a new feature Google rolled out in September. Above is how this looks for a search for “Tesla.”
When Do Search Boxes Appear?
- The boxes appear when sitelinks appear, only searches where the site get a very high click-through rate (e.g. their brand name).
- There’s no way to add a search box, Google determines their presence.
- However, there is a code to remove them (below). As a brand though, it seems better to keep the box and soak up the extra pixels in your listing.
<meta name=”google” content=”nositelinkssearchbox”>
The Search Experience
- By default, searching within the above search box would not take visitors to a Tesla page (for example) – it would take them to another Google search.
- This is a negative for a brand. It’s a chance for competitor ads to nab a visitor and an extra step in the conversion process.
- To change this, a different tag (details below) can be added to send visitors directly to your internal search – not another Google search.
- It’s unknown how much the search box will be used. However, if you redirect users to your internal search, organic landing page traffic to your internal search could measure the increase.
- It’s too early to know for sure, but our data isn’t showing much of a spike from sitelink search usage.
- You’ll need to add a bit of code to your home page to have your internal search used here.
- There’s 2 kinds of code options – JSON-LD and microdata. We’ve now seen live examples of both working, so whichever one is OK.
- If you go with the microdata, you can actually hide the <DIV> if you want. Check out Pinterest’s implementation if you go that route.
- It takes 1 to 3 weeks for this change to take place – so don’t panic when it takes a while.
This should help you get a handle on sitelink search, but let us know your own experience. We’ll be certainly watching to see how this evolves in the future.