Online search engine leader Google Inc. will begin giving some musical artists the star treatment by spotlighting links to their songs, lyrics and other related material at the top of the results page.
The music section, scheduled to debut Thursday, is designed to provide a more direct route to the content that most music fans want to see when they inquire about a singer or band, said Marissa Mayer, Google's director of Web products.
"We are addressing a deficiency in our Web search," she said.
The music section is similar in concept and placement to other special sections Google has created to make it easier to find information about airline flights, express freight shipments, news stories, movies and weather.
Among other things, Google's music section will provide lists of all the songs recorded on a specific album and also will point to places where the music can be legally downloaded. Google is working with several online libraries to make sure its song list remains up to date.
Unlike Yahoo Inc., Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has no plans to create a music library of its own, Mayer said. Google also won't collect a referral fee if its visitors click on the new music section and go on to buy songs from one of the linked libraries.
But Google does stand to profit if the new section spurs more search requests about music because that gives its search engine more opportunities to display ads about the same subject.
The advertising displayed alongside Google's main search results accounted for a substantial chunk of the company's $4.2 billion in revenue through the first nine months of 2005.