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Google Catalogs Passes 5000 Catalog Mark

 4:59 pm on Oct 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

An update to the Google Catalogs page shows that the database has just passed the 5000 catalog mark.

Google Catalogs was launched some ten months ago. Although they don't charge merchants to have a cataloged scanned into the database the door is still open as to if/what they will charge for some of the "additional elements" listed on the vendors page. [catalogs.google.com]



 2:51 am on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

How is Google going to generate any worthwhile traffic in the Catalogs? It's a great idea and a super tech system, but I don't see what the attraction is for visitors to use it.


 3:21 am on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

Glad you noticed, rubble88! If you think about it, quite a lot of things have happened in the last couple weeks: we officially released our European AdWords (Japanese AdWords went live a month or so before that). We introduced the Google Search Appliance 5005, which is midway between our single-box 1001 and multiway 8008. We introduced Google News, which is (I think) a huge step forward in the ability to search over news articles. We pushed out a new index, and we introduced some new scoring improvements, although a couple folks disagree on that last point. ;) Our minty freshness also continues to grow mintier by the day. It's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, which is that Google getting better in lots of ways. A milestone like "5000 catalogs" is just a nice reminder of that.


 7:30 am on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

I wonder when Google will use the catalog OCR quality to also index text on/in images on webpages.

It would take a lot of computer power, but as I understand images are cached, and maybe some idle servers could do the work in the weekend.


If I were looking for a graph with the relation ship between pressure and temperature of a specific gas in a certain unit, Google could find it for me. Not all autors of webarticles are good enough in putting descriptive text in the alt-tag or the surrounding bodytext describing the graph.


 10:22 am on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

Brett, don't know if you got an answer to that. I actually call those reponses the "Marketers cough!" Sure you know the condition - all your products and features get caught in your throat and they suddenly get loosened and brought up in a mighty cnon sensical and unrelated posting.

I was a little bit puzzled by the Google Catalogues thing. What could be the purpose? Its a good idea and would make a good supplementary search system for all the industries that rely on catalogues - such as fashion, textiles. Now we know the system of free for market share then start levelling charges once established. Using this rule I see no reason why Google could not mailshot those who have been put in their catalogue and say "hey upgrade you're catalogue to a full hi-res backup". Charging a flat rate and then there is a central point for online digital distribution of cataglogues. I am sure this little exercise is just to get email addresses for future scenarios.

You can see the importance of this program because they see 5000 catalogues as a milestone. Clearly there are many many companies with catalogues so 5000 on a global audience is pretty insignificant.

Google will I think try and do a Yahoo and suceed.

I've heard that in the canteen of Google they have 300 grams of lettuce in avn averaqe BLT. But in Yahoo's they have 350 grams. Intersting? NOT REALLY!


 10:58 am on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

I find their layout in three screens with increasing detail beautiful.

> so 5000 on a global audience is pretty insignificant

As far as I can see only English catalogs.
Could be that they are only US companies as well, but I did not check enough.


 2:55 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

Googleguy, what about the update of Google Images? Will it be fresher and fresher too? I think an update every 2 months would be great.


 4:33 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)


It appears this service is for US based catalogs only, according to the Google Catalog Vendors page.


 4:42 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

>> It appears this service is for US based catalogs only

Not true. I know this for a stone cold fact, 'cos I got one of my UK-based clients to send their catalogue (note spelling ;)) over, and it has been included


 5:09 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

Maybe a few have slipped by, by this text is from the Catalog vendor page,

"2. Are there any catalogs that will not be included in the search?

Google's beta catalog search focuses on standard U.S. mail-order product catalogs which have prices printed in them and are designed to help customers make a purchase immediately. At this time we are not including foreign catalogs, travel guides, course catalogs".... etc


 5:20 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

So has anyone created a print catalog for the sole purpose of getting listed?

I guess accepting PDF's would set the barrier to inclusion just a tad too low. :-)


 5:26 pm on Oct 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

Slud - that's a good one.

If anyone is printing a catalog for the purpose of getting listed in a search engine, then the concept of Internet Marketing has come full circle. : )


 4:27 am on Oct 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

Brett - I use the catalogs to find obscure goods that I can't find in an online store-- for some reason catalogs cover a lot of niches. Also, catalogs tend to offer more competitive pricing than online outlets for some products.

I also do comparison or reference pricing from brick & mortar businesses for purchase orders.


 6:02 am on Oct 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Could not find any Sotheby's or Christies on first check.

Would be nice searching if Google included all catalogs from the start...
(you will probably find volunteers willing to do the scanning) ;)


 6:35 am on Oct 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I just tested catalogues on a regular 36.6 and browsing was a torture.
This might become one of the biggest waste of bandwidth and server space yet by Google. If Google does manage to attract enough traffic, this campaign might take up so much traffic, that browsing through regular Google search will become unattractive and might drive away visitors.

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