Yandex is letting brands add interactive functions into its search results, such as hotel bookings or flight check-ins, as the Russian firm looks to expand its ad revenues.
The interactive snippets, called ‘Islands’, are designed to speed up engagement with websites and services by allowing users to action their query – such as booking cinema tickets, making restaurant reservations or paying a bill – directly from the search page rather than through an organisation’s website.
With recent surveys showing that customers often leave a search page in less than half a second if they don’t discover what they’re looking for, Yandex believes that facilitating a rapid start to the user’s journey directly from the SERP will improve user satisfaction and conversion rates for online businesses.
“Apps have changed people’s expectations of usability, especially on mobile,” said Ilya Segalovich, CTO at Yandex. “When people search on the rich web these days, they are often looking to carry out an action. What happens now is that even if you can see in search results a link to the website where you can potentially book your movie ticket or pay your bill, you still need to click through to this site and possibly even browse a few pages before you find the booking form. We’re speeding up this process.
“Interactive snippets deliver a new level of user experience. Sitelinks are an outdated way of providing information and rich snippets are mere decoration. We know users want faster, more direct engagement with services, and interactive snippets mean businesses can better serve the needs of their customers by offering a shortcut to the ultimate search.”
Yandex has also been working with a number of web developers to create the toolset.
The feature will be available for all searchers on different types of devices, launching first on personal computers and tablets and then on mobile devices.
It is being rolled out to Yandex’s 8 million users in Turkey today and will then be introduced to Yandex’s broader customer base in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan in the coming months.
Watch this video explaining how the service works below:
Read more about the Islands feature here