Yandex, Russia's most popular search engine, announced the launch of a beta of their Yandex "Islands" or as they describe it "interactive snippets," yesterday in Turkey.
In short, interactive snippets lets searchers complete their goals directly in the search results. Be it booking a flight, getting tickets to the movies, buying products and so on. Yandex doesn't want you to have to go to a web site listed in their index to do so, they want you to buy it directly in the search results.
Good for the user? Bad for the webmaster and site owner?
Watch their very powerful video:
Supposedly you can play with it at yandex.com.tr.
Webmasters should be able to participate by using these specifications.
I am telling you, if Google did this, we would all go mad with anger. Of course, it does seem like Google, Bing and other search engines are heading this way. Yandex was the first to fully admit it.
Update: Here is a statement from Yandex:
It is not our goal to become a substitute for full-fledged online services by providing interactive snippets. What we suggest to web developers and publishers is nothing but conversion improvement via interactive snippets that will help users to start solving tasks right on the search results page. The completion of tasks such as seat selection during flight check-in or fridge model selection in online shop will take users to the web service's site anyway. Website owners are free to decide whether their website or service needs an interactive snippet on the search results page, how the interactive feature should look and what web page a user should land on for completion of a task.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.