In its bid to provide search users with quick answers rather than require they follow links to various websites, Google is now showing product comparisons in search results.
The move to make answers more readily available is primarily intended to accommodate mobile users’ need for quick answers. But, simple as they are, Google’s product comparisons are appearing in both mobile and desktop search results.
They are not showing universally, however, indicating that Google is likely testing their effectiveness before making them generally available.
At this stage, the library of product comparisons is sparse, and when shown they are currently limited to products such as smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles. Furthermore, comparisons are currently limited to two products at a time.
Why should you care?
The need to make sure that product comparison answers are an accurate match to users’ search queries will naturally limit when and how often product comparisons are shown. But just as we have become used to getting good answers from Google for “near me” questions, we can now anticipate that search results will include more answers to simple comparison queries (such as “ipad pro vs pixel c”).
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Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he develops search strategies for SureFire clients and helps them make sense of their website data.
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