The next chapter in “Google Giveth, Google Taketh Away”: A site-specific search bar introduced this month that appears under the results of large retailers and media companies. Google “new york times,” for instance, and underneath the main result for nytimes.com is another field that lets you to search the Times’ site directly.
That option has always been available to users savvy enough to use the “site:” search command. But predictably, some retailers and media companies are unhappy about the new tweak: That’s because entering a query into the second search field brings you to a second search page, where ads for the sites’ competitors sometimes appear.
The other problem, at least in theory: The sites don’t get to steer you through their own search results. But we don’t have much sympathy, at least for the likes of Best Buy, who have miserable search engines of their own. Google (GOOG) says it will work to keep competitors’ results off of second pages, at least in some cases. But in the end, we think the solution is easy: Provide users with a superior search engine, and you won’t have to worry about them using Google’s.