Google has launched a new feature in its search results, which displays results that are deemed "similar" to the query. If you search for eBay, for example, you may get results for Craigslist, uBid, Buy.com, and ebayanuncios.es.
Basically, if someone searches for a brand, there is a good chance Google will inject links to the competition on that results page by default (though at the bottom).
It’s actually not a new feature entirely. "We’ve offered a ‘Similar’ feature on results for a while now as a way to discover new, useful sites, but it hasn’t been too visible," says Google software engineer Doantam Phan. "Since we’ve been continuously improving this feature and we think it’s really useful, we’re now going to start showing these alternative sites more prominently."
I thought it would be interesting to see what pages Google thinks are similar to Google itself and some of its competitors. When I searched "google" I didn’t get any similar pages. When I searched "bing", I got the following:
For "facebook" I got the following:
For Yahoo, I got the following:
I find it interesting that Google deems Bing to be more like Dogpile than Google or even Yahoo. It’s also worth noting that Gmail is in the mix for Facebook, with Buzz presumably being the connecting factor, which is interesting in itself since Buzz is more like FriendFeed than Facebook, and Facebook actually owns FriendFeed, but that’s not listed (while Microsoft.com is listed as similar to Bing).