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:

Hotel Prices in Google

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.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Universal Search | 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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  • Mike Dobbs


    Interesting post, and thanks for the updates. I find it interesting that Google is now providing more horsepower or advantage for a select set of travel “aggregation” sites and their pricing display via Local/Maps, and now within Google’s advanced filter options. And, to your point, perhaps within a more prominent Universal result set – TBD. Seems like the hotel chains themselves get cut out of this direct pricing opportunity, for now at least.

    Also, should this really be deemed a “shopping” result? I’m not sure I’d classify as such, only because the pricing for hotels (per these examples) is not coming out of the Google “shopping or product” database, or is it? I’m thinking (prices) must be captured via an exclusive feed with these select aggregation sites, or via Google’s normal web crawl.

    Thanks again for the post, always interesting to see what Google is testing each day!

  • kevinlukemay


    Thanks for the coverage…

    To clarify, these results (which we haven’t seen replicated anywhere yet, thus why we think it was just on for a brief period of time) were obtained from a search from the Google homepage.

    No filters were set and the results (with prices perhaps from Google Shopping) were returned immediately from the search query.

    Fun and games eh.

  • djfink2001

    Can hotel prices come from google base type shopping results?

  • Antti Aapakari

    Interesting test! If it’s implemented everywhere it will certainly make SEO a little more of a challenge since it gives users one less reason to click through.

  • Darkhuntress

    Surly no one is surprised. It’s Google after all. They already know everything there is to know about you. Where you go on the web, what your bookmarks are, how often you visit those “mature” sites , where you shop, which forums interest you and all your concerns since you go right to them to search for more information.

    Why does this further intrusion shock anyone?

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