May 21, 2013

Google refines top city attractions search results, designed to kill competition?


A Google search for the top things to do in a city will serve up a new results page with the main points of interest lining horizontally on the top. Followed by the usual knowladge graph with listings from TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and the likes - if you ever get to click on their results, that is.

If you click on the images to find out more about one of the top attractions, Google leads you to a new search results page, which keeps the points of interest thumbnail band unchanged.

The search results will display first Wikipedia’s page about that specific attraction on the left, followed by the official site of the venue (if any), then other related sites. At the right, the picture of the venue, in thumbnail, near a thumbnail version of its location in the city on a Google map. Under these, a snippet from (again) Wikipedia’s description, followed by address, function, and a link to Google Local reviews.

As a site owner, you will see a significant decrease in hits, and all that content you worked so hard to put together, to present comprehensively to your target audiences, is rendered useless. Ask yourself this: why would any user scroll vertically to find your site, when all the top attractions are presented one click away, with beautiful imagery? Every image in the points of interest bar is a search button itself. It takes you to more Google search results, not to an official site presenting the venue. What, in theory, enhances Google searchers’ experience, is designed to kill competition, to eliminate travel guides one by one. Google has been eyeballing the travel industry for so long now – it was just a matter of time.

Get the full story at argophilia and everythingPR

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