Currently, when you copy a package tracking number and paste it into Google Search, Google is smart enough to recognize the carrier and provide you with a shortcut to their site that will reveal detailed tracking information. Soon, if Google has its way, a simple Google Search of the tracking number will give it all to you without the external redirect.
Through the Google Webmaster Central blog today, Google asked for package carriers to sign-up for a program that would bring detailed tracking information right to Search.
You can see how this might look in the image at the top of the post, where Google’s example shows the day an item shipped, stops along the way, if it’s out for delivery, and when it has been flagged as delivered. It could also provide you with contact information, in case you have questions about your shipment.
It looks great, we just now need package carriers to get on board. Will they? I’m not sure the incentive for Fedex or UPS to bow to Google and keep you away from their own site, where they can talk you into shipping things, buying premium memberships, etc. So who knows if this will happen on any meaningful level or if the only companies involved are smaller carriers.
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