Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has been busily adding ads to many of its properties since last fall, including Google Finance and Google News. The latest and perhaps most prominent: The "Google Suggest" menu that drops down when a user makes a query on the Google home page. Google announced last night that starting soon, it would show sponsored links there.
Google also said it would let people navigate directly to specific sites from the menu (by offering a URL) instead of taking them first to a results page. Suggestions will also now be adapted to a user's past queries, if they have a Google account, and suggested sites will show up when someone makes a query from a results page. The goal, the company said, was to speed up searches.
Google's competitors are planning a makeover for their own search boxes. Microsoft's Live Labs has been working on a project under the premise that more can be done within the search box. Its status is unclear, but it could potentially be incorporated into the Live Search relaunch, which is expected to be announced next week. Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), meanwhile, was the first of the three major search engines to introduce a suggestions menuway back in July 2007.
By Joseph Tartakoff