John Battelle had conversation with Google’s Marissa Mayer this morning about the affect of the deal between Google and AOL on Google’s search results. John posted a loose transcript of the conversation, but what interested me most was the discussion around OneBox results on Google’s search result pages.
What we normally do on the OneBox, like on our stocks page or travel, where we have links to a few providers, we look at Media Metrix or PageRank data, and generally they agree and corroborate themselves (as to) who are the top three or five providers. And those are who we generally look to include. We make sure to look at the overall user experience â€“ you know do these people have a good page for us to click through to? So with the travel providers what we were looking for is do you get a results page that shows you flights? … We looked at who was willing to provide us a page that was suitable and accessible
It’s good corp-speak but I don’t think it’s the truth. I view a Google OneBox result with links to third parties as an intermediate step for Google to learn more about that traffic flow before introducing their own hosted service. Answers.com led to the define operator and related results pages based on Google crawl data. I expect Google will integrate travel search with Froogle and eventually introduce financial services tracking if only because Googlers want to spend some of their 20% time creating better ways to track their financial portfolio.