Google wants to make its website the only site you ever need to visit, whether its to check the weather, book a flight, see how your favorite football teams are doing, or even to find out if your symptoms are serious. Google is constantly adding new features and widgets to make Search invaluable, and this week, it is kicking off an early access program that will allow shipping companies to show people the status of their packages without leaving Search.
If you have ever gotten a tracking number in your email or in a text before, the first thing you probably do is copy and paste it into the Google search bar, which then redirects you to the appropriate shipping company’s website. But with this new feature, you will be able to see all of the relevant information as soon as you search.
Here’s a sample image that Google provided on its Webmaster Central Blog, which shows the expected delivery date and location, the status of the shipment, and a bunch of helpful links and phone numbers:
“Through the package tracking Early Adopters Program, which is available in all countries, shipping companies can sign-up to participate in this feature and give feedback on how to improve it,” Product Manager Allen Harvey explains via the blog. “To take part in the program, a carrier will need to provide a RESTful JSON or XML API that returns the package tracking information. We can work with you to reuse an existing API or setup a new one.”
We don’t know if or when this feature will roll out to the public, but providing the program is a success, we’re about to get one more great tool on Google Search that will make all of our lives a little easier.