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Google Showing Shopping Results Without Explicit Search Intent?
The tnooz blog reported that after searching for [hotels] off the Google home page, he was shown hotel room prices directly in the search results. Here is a screen capture:
Now, we know Google was testing hotel prices in Google Maps via AdWords but these are prices directly in the organic results.
How is this possible? If you look closely, you will see that the search results come from a shopping search filter that was set to on. Tnooz blog said that Google automatically set the user to the shopping search results, without the user requesting for this to be specifically on. They said, “the screen grabs were from Google Shopping – a service which includes prices but is obtained by filtering results AFTER an initial search is been carried out.” Google told the blog that Google runs tests and this may be one of those tests.
If this is indeed a test, then maybe Google starting to experiment beyond showing elements of vertical searches within the web results, like they do in the Universal Search results. Now, they are potentially bypassing that front page and taking users directly to a filtered search experience by only showing shopping results, in this case. This is a major change to how Google handles search queries and results.
I have emailed Google for more clarification on this example and hope to update this post when I learn more.