Google provide currency counter within SERPs

Google Logo 2012

Follow Andy on Twitter

Google have been roundly criticised over the years for using their position as search market leaders to push their own products/services. Although many will state that Google can do what they want with their search engine, many of their changes do lead to ‘anti competition‘ remarks, especially when its one of your websites that is losing out to the big G!

There are so many changes to Google, in terms of functionality and toolset offering, that is hard to keep up, but I wanted to share with you another addition to the SERPs that satisfies your query before you have to click on a result.

We’ve seen with the Google credit card example that Sam posted last month, but I’ve found another one! If you’re off on holiday and you want to see how many dollars or euros you will get for your pound, then you might search for ‘exchange rates’ or ‘currency converter’ perhaps? If you do, you will no longer have to visit a website – but you can use Google’s own functionality:

Google SERPs for currency converter

This addition means that your query has already been met! You no longer have to click on a result to find out how much currency you will get for your well earned holiday. Now, I’ve not personally seen this before, however – my last holiday was to Australia last November, so I haven’t had to need to – unfortunately – review the exchange rate! Any feedback on whether this has been listed within Google for longer is most appreciated.

Interestingly, Google include a disclaimer, which reads:

Google cannot guarantee the accuracy of the exchange rates used by the calculator. You should confirm current rates before making any transactions that could be affected by changes in the exchange rates.

However, how many users will indeed then go to another tool to work out how much they can get for their dosh? Looking at www.xe.com, the website I usually use for any exchange rate, returns near enough the same value as Google does:

Currency converter image

XE are in position one for all of these keyword terms that now return Google’s very own currency converter (I did do a search for the brand ‘XE’, however Google – ‘kindly’ – does not return the tool):

XE.com Results in Google

Google refines the tool if you do search for a specific currency. The default is ‘pounds to dollars’, however a search for ‘current converter pounds to euros’ returns a ‘euros’ field. Xe.com must have lost a significant amount of traffic for this. What are your thoughts on this addition? Good for the user? I must say, it is a lot quicker than the currency converter widget on Xe.com.