Sure, the title of this post is misleading as it takes weeks or months for those big players to define, test and deliver such features on their search engines. That those recently announced shopping-related (and quite similar) features appear in a very similar timeline only shows how their product strategies are aligned: better understand the user’s intent and adjust result pages to the mood of the users; and giving answers to the shopping intent is a hot topic especially with the Christmas season starting soon… As such, search engines are competing more and more with price comparison sites and shopping search engines…
Launched two weeks ago, here is how Yahoo! explains it:
The new page is designed to help you easily find and explore the things that matter most to you […] This [along with new Yahoo! Homepage, improved Yahoo! Mail] delivers a dynamic, compelling, and integrated experience that better understands what you are looking for so you can get things done quickly on the Web. […] Allows you to explore results from key sites and narrow results using different types of SearchMonkey structured data.
Searching for “canon eos 50D”, the new Yahoo! Search shows clusters of results on a left-hand side column. Those can be of different types:
Yesterday, Google launched new “refined by” options on its search, including “fewer shopping sites” / “more shopping sites”; in Google’s own words:
In May, we launched Search Options, a side panel that lets you filter, refine and generate different views of your search results. […] we’re seeing more and more people using Search Options every day. Today, we’re announcing nine new Search Options tools […] More shopping sites and Fewer shopping sites: Now you can choose “More shopping sites” to show additional commercial pages and display prices from those pages right in the search results. If you’re doing product research and are not quite ready to make a purchase, you can choose to see “Fewer shopping sites” to filter out many of the commercial sites.
The “more shopping sites” option highlights retailers and shopping engines… but often (always?) displays a Google Product Search modules at the top of the filtered result page, a nice way to redirect traffic to its own shopping engine.