Google Puts Ads in the Search Box

    May 22, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google has introduced new features to Google Suggest in order to make searching faster (and place some ads). Google Suggest is (of course) the list of suggestions Google gives you when you begin typing a query into the search box.

The first new feature gives you suggestions on the results page. Before, they only showed suggestions based on the original search input. Now, when you search from a SERP, you will get suggestions related to that SERP. So if you are on a results page for roller coasters (as in the example below) and you begin typing in the search box, the first few suggestions will be roller coaster-related.

Google Suggest Features

The second new feature gives you personalized suggestions. "We estimate that about a quarter of all signed-in searches are repeats from the past month," explains a post from Google. "Now, if you’re signed in with your Google account and have Web History enabled, we may show some of your relevant past searches as you type." If you don’t like a particular suggestion, you can simply click a "remove" button and you won’t see it next time.

Google Suggest Features

The third feature gives you navigational suggestions. If your first keystrokes indicate you’re looking for a specific site, Google will suggest that site.

Google Suggest Features

Finally, the last feature gives you sponsored links in suggestions. "Sometimes we detect that the most relevant completion for what you’re typing is an ad," Google explains. "When an ad is shown, we mark it with the text ‘sponsored Link’ and a colored background, as on the results page."

Google Suggest Features

They’ve even found a way to stick ads in the search box. That’s impressive.

In addition to these new features, they will no longer show the result count for items in the suggest box, and the text of suggestions will now be bolded. Features are rolling out gradually, so if you do not have them yet, be patient.