Google: Now Recommending Brands For Searches

First Google rolled out recommendations for “pages similar to” earlier this week, now they also appear to be testing brand recommendations in response to certain queries. As I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable, some users are seeing “brands for” recommendations for searches such as [digital cameras], [cheap laptops], [label printers], [fishing rod] and others.

Here is a screen capture:

Google Brands For...

This does seem to be using similar functionality to what Google launched in November, for their product search expansion, but here the brands are listed at the top of the results. The big brands are getting more exposure in the Google search results than possibly ever before.

I have asked Google for a comment and all I have yet to receive is:

As before, on questions about testing and this design, this is just a test and at this point we don’t have more to share. But, please do stay tuned. We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop about any new developments.

What I really want to know is how do brands get the ability to show up in these brand boxes? Are they reserved for only large brands? If so, what is the rational behind Google testing this feature?

Postscript From Danny Sullivan: It’s worth noting a some things over the past year that Google has done in terms of brands.

About a year ago, Aaron Wall of SEO Book reported on an amazing trend where web sites from notable brands appeared to perform much better in search results than in the past. Google suggested this wasn’t brand-specific but rather related to new “trust” metrics (see Google’s Vince Update Produces Big Brand Rankings; Google Calls It A Trust “Change”).

Also last year, Google CEO Eric Schmidt reiterated comments he had made in the past about about the idea of the web as a “sewer” where “brands” represent quality that stands out.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: User Interface | Google: Web Search | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • CarrieEller

    Interesting, I see these type of recommendations in the apparel category as well for “hoodies”, “jeans” & “kids shoes.” Mostly, there are manufacturer recommendations, but in the case of “kids shoes,” the Children’s Place retailer is listed. This appears to be an attempt by Google to facilitate the searches path to buying through the much talked about “Search Funnel” & to increase the number of searches on Google that will result in potentially more paid clicks. It could be a benefit to a searcher and to retailers carrying the brands recommended who also participate in paid search on Google from the click of the more general search phrase recommended brand to the resulting recommended brand SERP.

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