The OneBox, in its many forms is very important as the primary interface that Google provides to local search and thus deserves attention. Bil Slawski has just published a summary of Google’s OneBox patent at Search Engine Journal as well as listed other OneBox references. As Bill points out the OneBox is Google’s method of allowing vertical search to works its way into the main search engine results page.
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OneBox patent summary from Bill Slawski
by Mike Blumenthal
I’ve been looking forward to finding something in a patent application about OneBox results for a while, so I was really excited to see this one.
I think the future will bring us a lot more variations of them. There are a lot of unique OneBox features that have been developed for enterprise search, also.
Understanding as much of the OneBox as possible is probably a good thing since they do usually appear in a prominent place on Google’s Web search page above Web results, which is a great place to have your page or site linked from.
Comment by Bill (27 comments) — January 24, 2007 @ 1:12 am
I would agree with you 100%. They allow Google to present the cream of “vertical” search information without leaving the comfortable space of the single search box and the main results page.
One of the implications of that is that most of the data in Google Maps and Yahoo Local will remain a click away and thus unseen by most users (until alternative devices running something like Google Map Mobile become widespread).
Which only increases the importance of the local oneboxes. I am particularly interested in the “Authoritative OneBox” as it takes up so much prominent real estate. I wonder what specific factors trigger its display. I am seeing it more often on “service + city, st” type searches even in more competitive phrases. In the past I would see it mostly on phrases where there was little or no local competition.
It strikes me that if displayed too often by Google, the “Authoritative OneBox” would ultimately discourage advertising on Google in the local space as only one company would benefit.
[...] It made its first appearance last October. Bill Slawski wrote up a OneBox Patent Summary in January of this year. In that same timeframe it became more frequently displayed. In February of this year after the Onebox update there appeared to be an increased use of the Authoritative OneBox. Previously it was shown when there was no competition locally but it started being shown more frequently and for the â€œdominantâ€ local listing. [...]