Google's Froogle Supports Local Shopping Search

Right before Black Friday Google unveils a new local shopping tool. Froogle now mashes up with Google maps. According to a Silicon Valley article:

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company developed the free tool to help consumers avoid the frustration of traveling to a store that no longer has an item on their shopping lists, said Marissa Mayer, Google's director of consumer products.

Froogle, a comparison shopping site that Google launched three years ago, will continue to give visitors the option to buy the merchandise online. Google receives a commission for the online referrals.

I am not sure what they meant with that Google receives a commission bit. Is that just for the ads near it? In 2003 when Mike Grehan interviewed Craig Nevill-Manning, Craig said:

BUT - the bottom line is - they are unpaid listings, they're unbiased. They're the best results we can find for those products online. ... It'll be free forever.

The New York Times made it sound as though the Silicon Valley article was misquoting or overtly vague in their description of how this service will make Google money.

The service will be freely available to merchants in the United States, Ms. Mayer said. Google, as it frequently notes, plans to gain revenue from the new Froogle service by placing relevant text ads on the same page as the local results.

The company also believes that it gains revenue when users employ Google more frequently as its services become more useful.

The Silicon Valley article also stated:

Initially, Google is depending on a contractor to pull the inventory information from several hundred major merchants. The search engine hopes to make the service even comprehensive by encouraging stores to submit their own customized merchandises list to the newly created "Google Base" - an information clearinghouse for everything from family recipes to scientific formulas.

What vertical search site is safe?

A while ago Battelle had a highly related post about comparison shopping called The Transparent (Shopping) Society. The New York Times made it sound like the eventual goal of this launch is spot on with what John was describing:

Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at NPD Group, a market research firm in Port Washington, N.Y., said that if Froogle delivered up-to the-minute inventory updates from retailers, "consumers will finally know whether a trip to a store is worthwhile."

Google wants to be the default inventory information clearinghouse. Users love defaults. I am guessing the value of being the default shopping search site is worth far more than any value they would extract by charging for the feeds, at least off the start. Just like with regular search, there will be incentive for merchants to spam this service. Any idea how Google will fend off spam if they aren't charging? Or are they charging?

Mirago Context Stream, Become.com Search Suggestion, PPC Best Practices

Why Does Google Lie to SEOs?
asks Stuntdubl

OptiLink:
Leslie Rhode created a new seo blog, and a new Mastering PageRank video. His OptiLink was one of the first SEO tools I bought and one of the few I ever found useful, although the advancing algorithms are making link analysis harder than it was a short time ago.

Say Cheese:
the demise of a brand - a Kodak moment.

Mirago's Context Stream:
new AdSense competitor spotted.

Spammy Directory Links:
Have still seen them working decent in Google, although I am sure that will eventually change.

About 3 months ago a friend launched a brand spanking new site on an expensive topic which already ranks in the top 30 for a well known short query. The site ranked there before being listed in DMOZ.

Other than a Yahoo! Directory link only a few links from on topic sites or sites that would be well trusted by an algorithm such as TrustRank.

Most of the links popularity comes from general directories. The site also has sitewide outbound links to a couple industry hub resources. Most other sites in the field are not well topically connected and are powered by fake hubs and the like.

Cory Rudl:
Ken McCarthy posted a in memory page with a 1 hour MP3 audio clip of Corey from February 2001, which is well worth a listen to anyone new to internet marketing.

Become.com:
Their search service now comes with a new search suggestion / keyword research tool. Similar to how Snap works, except instead of showing queries which start with your term it shows querries which contain your term. from TW

PPC:
MarketingSherpa best practices - How Autobytel Ramped Up to 150,000 PPC Search Campaigns : 5 Best Practices in Campaign Management. from GotAds

Fear, Greed, & Social Software:
article by Ross Mayfield

Become.com Official Launch

Apr 12th

Become.com launches their shopping search engine. They claim to be spam proof, though many are wondering if in doing that they became user proof.

Many of the top ranking sites are not what people would expect to find. For example a search for Viagra only brings up the en Espanol version of the official site at #8.

Random authority sites that just mention stuff tend to rank without regard to page or site theme.

Lots of Various Links

Hola:
Spainish Ask Jeeves

Lycos:
Lycos to use AlmondNet to target contextual ads

Who Owns Culture?
Webcast at 7pm Eastern tonight. Steven Berlin Johnson is one of my favorite writers, and he will be chatting with Jeff Tweedy and Lawrence Lessig.

Like Search Research?
DG's Desk links to a bunch of research papers.

SEO URL Tip:
this looks like a cool new blog about eBay, but why not spend the $8 /yr to buy a static domain name?

also, Gawker media lagunched Sploid. I think they come up with some pretty cool names.

Try Again:
Google alternate searches being tested? that or spyware...

Gel Conference:
April 28-29, 2005 New York City. Looks pretty cool.

Interview:
of MSN Search.

Across the Ocean:
apparently in the UK Online ad spend trumps airwaves

A Good Blog:
about social, legal, and economic issues.

Dirty Words:
Marcia. hehehe

Paris Hilton:
still looking for that video? view the Paris Hilton porncast podcast. you KNOW stuff is overhyped when a megacorp has Paris doing something.

Yahoo! Shopping:
rss feeds

VoIP:
AOL tries to be undead, launching a VoIP service. pricing structure hosed from the word go?

Google News Getting Sued, MSN Shopping Beta, Google AdSense Conference

This Just In:
Google News being sued by Agence France Presse for displaying subscriber only images

MSN Shopping:
Beta

Google AdSense:
Publisher Conference, reviewed. They highlighted a few sites and I think I know some of the people who may do some of the ads for some of them.

When my friend initially set up his personals page on AOL a long time ago (before he knew what a landing page was) he got so many leads that he was sending girls to his friends. Unfortunatly, I was not a friend of his at the time :(

Froogle Upgrades...

From Froogle Newsletter Volume 4...

Ad Automator
Froogle merchants with over 1000 products who are also AdWords advertisers are invited to try out the beta release of our new ad-producing technology, the ad automator.

The ad automator uses sophisticated technology to automatically create and target AdWords ads based on structured data feeds, which are nearly identical to the data feeds you submit to Froogle. You’ll be able to create keyword-less data feed campaigns in your existing AdWords account while investing minimal time and effort. Simply send us your feeds, and the ad automator will automatically generate targeted AdWords ads that begin showing right away. You’ll be able to:

  • Leverage the product copy you’ve already written for your site
  • Generate specific, high-CTR ads with no additional work

  • Increase the number of queries on which your ads appear

The ad automator provides added coverage by targeting queries that may have been overlooked in your keyword campaign. The ads produced are highly relevant and precisely targeted to the user’s search query.

If you’re a merchant and advertiser who’d like to take advantage of Google’s ad automator, please drop us a line at automator-signup@google.com. Please include your AdWords account number in your note.

Ad Automator if / when done correctly will be huge...

a couple other new features...
Merchant Ratings:
Google does not store its own rating system, but pulls together aggregate ratings score and snippets of customer reviews from third party sites.

Compare Prices
Allows you to compare the prices for a specific item in many stores. It is still under development, but already works well for ISBN's or UPC's.

You can see both features when searching for 0130957011... or other good books by # :)

Amazon A9 Search Engine Launch

Apr 15th

Amazon quietly announced the beta launch of their A9 search engine. Currently A9 appears to be a cross between Amazon and Alexa, while not being as commercially built up or invasive as either of those sites. A9 outlines many of their cool features on their "A9 cool features" page, and a more in depth review of A9 is listed below.

A9.com's service currently relies heavily on a partnership with Google, which supplies many of the search results, and Amazon's Alexa subsidiary, which provides traffic, other sites of interest and additional information on specific Web sites.

Search results also include text ads from Google's sponsored links program.

Alison Diboll, an A9.com spokeswoman, declined to say whether the company eventually plans to create its own search technology. She confirmed that Amazon plans to use the technology to serve both its online store and the rest of the Web. source: The Seatle Times

A9 has a couple interesting features that many other search engines do not. Their new A9 toolbar allows people to jot down notes about a website which can be viewed later on anywhere.

The site, and its accompanying toolbar, pull together various elements previously available on Amazon.com in a unique way. Data comes from partner Google, the Amazon.com site and its Alexa division. Three separate columns of results include natural search results, the ability to access Alexa's "what's related" features, book excerpt results from Amazon.com's offerings and the user's history. Personalization features, which use the Amazon.com login and cookie, are probably the most revolutionary part of the offering -- not because of their current form, but because of their potential. source: ClickZ

One of the more interesting things they did at A9 (as far as PR goes) is that they had John Battelle discuss it before any other news outlet so that the blog community could get their hands on it before some of the larger media outlets.






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