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Google launches new ecommerce site on boutiques.com?

 1:39 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

It looks like google are away to launch a new ecommerce venture off the domain boutiques.com. I have an ecommerce site and this announcement worries me a bit. The fact they have moved to launch off a domain name is a step too far. If I am competing in the serps against boutique.com I wonder who is going to rank top?

I wonder if this could be a replacement for google products in the fashion sector and a sign of things to come?

Would be interested to see what people think


[edited by: goodroi at 8:27 pm (utc) on Nov 15, 2010]

[edited by: engine at 7:07 pm (utc) on Nov 17, 2010]
[edit reason] added question mark to title - also, corrected domain name [/edit]


Robert Charlton

 8:04 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Initially I thought this was fake viral buzz. Reading more deeply, I see that boutiques.com is owned by like.com, a fashion site that has pioneered visual search technology, and like.com has been acquired by Google.

Here's an excerpt of the notice (a graphic, so it's hard to transcribe) on the like.com [like.com] home page...

Like has been acquired by Google.

Since 2006, Like has been moving the frontiers of eCommerce one step at a time. We were the first to bring visual search to shopping, the first to build an automated cross-matching system for clothing, and more. We didn't stop there, and don't have plans to stop now. We see joining Google as a way to supersize our vision and supercharge our passion....

I assume from concurrent events that Google is very interested in combining Like's visual search technology with mobile search.

It's possible that this will be a platform to offer visual and mobile search capabilities to sites that don't have the technology... much as YouTube offers video hosting and a search component. Undoubtedly Google will keep itself in the loop, as with YouTube and Google Products... and also use the platform to create a fuller virtual model of the product and image search landscape, as it does with Google Squared, the Image naming game, etc, as well as with its own stats.


 9:22 am on Nov 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is this the first time you have seen google launch a venture like this off a domain name? Also do you think the site will compete in organic search for fashion related search phrases?

From what I can gather no clothes will be sold off the site directly, traffic will be pushed to brands and online retailers, however we all know google well so I wonder where they will take their cut in this process?


 3:34 am on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

traffic will be pushed to brands and online retailers

What's the criteria to determine where the traffic gets pushed? PageRank? or $$$$$$$? (read the translation on that to mean: "deep pockets").



 12:59 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google launches Boutiques [googleblog.blogspot.com]
Today, we’re excited to share with you our first step towards realizing this goal. It’s called Boutiques.com: a personalized shopping experience that lets you find and discover fashion goods, by creating your own curated boutique or through a collection of boutiques curated by taste-makers—celebrities, stylists, designers and fashion bloggers. Boutiques uses computer vision and machine learning technology to visually analyze your taste and match it to items you would like.


 2:08 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Isnt this a thin affiliate site in new clothes?


 3:02 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)



 3:15 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

It is a really poor site and concept I think, you would think with all their money and skill they could have designed something better than this! To me this is another ill thought out plan that does not make sense.

It will be interesting to see how the site develops and how many people create their own boutique shops.


 3:58 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Wait a minute. Isn't this a content aggregation site? I suspect there is not an original scrap of content [google.com] on the entire site. Seems like one of those left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing scenarios.


 4:04 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Both hands know what they're doing.

They eliminate aggregrator and affiliate sites from the serps and adwords. Then they open up their own shop and start scraping that money instead of us. There simply isn't a niche market that they won't go into. I'm hopeful that I'll be out of the business before they get to my niche.

Take note of how this is marketed. The entire quote above talks about nothing except benefit to the end user. It's sales veneer over a layer of crap :).


 4:24 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

This first attempt may suck, but the next attempt might not.

What if this spreads into other niches, with google pulling the search strings many on here will be wiped out.

Perhaps the monopolies commission would get interested at some point.


 4:33 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

The site is called boutiques.com, not boutique. The title and first post is missing an "s".


 4:52 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

looks a lot like net a porter in style


 5:11 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

good grief Total HTTP Requests: 110
Total Size: 2855666 bytes
Boy sure got some site speed here several home page urls. I am just at a loss as to what to think.


 6:01 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Beyond the usual shopping type stuff there's quite a bit going on here. You go through a "Which is more your style" bit when you create a boutique that defines your basic "look." (And yes, you can definitely see hints of the visual search aspect here: similar body positions, way clothes drape, etc.) After a few more refinements your boutique is ready to go. The refinements are pretty neat as even if many people are classified as "casual chic, edgy," they are enough to differentiate the products in each person's individual boutique.

And now the social stuff kicks in. Other shoppers can follow and comment on your boutique as you can on theirs. For something that is really a stealth launch there's a bit of chatter and a few real people boutqiues created.

One of the problems that I saw surfaced is that this can only use info from the site itself so it can result in a comment such as "I thought she was a vegan, how can she show leather shoes?" in a celebrity boutique.

Overall I think this is going to be quite an experiment in crowdsourcing for shopping. Not sure if G is looking at this as Products for the future, but very interesting nonetheless.

And *for the moment* there really isn't any worry about competition in search. Everything is noindex, nofollow, rel nofollow, blah, blah, blah. And the pages themselves are a mess.

By the way, I'm a modern classic: "Prim & proper but never stuffy, you pride yourself on being pulled together like modern Classics Michelle Obama and Reese Witherspoon. You gravitate towards feminine details mixing in modern touches to create your Classic signature style."

And here I thought my style equalled schlub.


 6:02 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

NYT has a big thing on it, just raving.

Hasn't this been done? Sure, more layers of data, but this is really new?

Yet, the world of women's clothing does, in fact, meet that basic rule of the web working well when both the sources and the buyers are highly fragmented. So, WW has it, NYT has it, I decide I'll take a look...

My wife says she can't find clothes...

Boutiques.com sends me to a site called yoox.com where I found a pair of slacks for women, "70% Cotton, 30% Silk
straight leg cut, normal waisted, zip closure, two front pockets, strap closure, gabardine..."


I can see the interest on Google's part. Nice margins, there, ya think. And, I can why the NYT is excited as well.


 6:12 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am so confused by this. It must be a spawn of somebody's 20% time.


 6:15 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Interesting that Google developed this site as affiliate model to send traffic out to online retailer (see some links with affiliate tracking code of CJ). But they don't do any SEO even block robots to crawl by putting <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow"> to all pages.


 6:22 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

amateurish. they don't even possess the singular domain term. the confusion in this thread alone speaks for itself.

google geeks going style topics? pathetic, but not without chance of success. let's face it, they are set up to own every niche they want - even with ridiculously inferior knowledge and quality. that's the real shame.


 6:30 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

thankfully, I'm in a niche that Google will never ever ever go into..well, it might be the very last niche they go into in about the year 2137.


 6:59 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google "Boutiques"... Google "Hardware"... Google "AutoDealer"... Google "CoffeePot".... et al.

You think I'm kidding? You watch ~ this isn't the end, it's the beginning. That is, it's the beginning for them ~ may be the end for others. Look for a future MC press release: "Sorry about that chaps ~ just a little collateral damage no doubt".

How do you fight a thousand pound gorilla? You can't, you get out of its way, and hope it doesn't come down your path. I have this sinking feeling in my gut that's what we're all about to do ... hope I'm wrong.



 7:22 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

If I read thisWSJ article [online.wsj.com] from Nov 4th correctly it appears that this is just a drastic update of Products in the women's soft goods sector with ads/payments the same.

That's if I'm correctly reading it.


 9:40 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have been perusing this. I think it is actually genius. I am a google sycophant, but I can also understand this - its wordpress.com + shopping.com + google for fashionistas. It's unbelievalbe fabulous.

They've basically created a multiuser ecommerce focused wiki where you can assemble your own set of stuff you love, be a sort of blogger, be a commenter, share it with your friends, and get lost, like I used to get lost in macys trying to find the escalator (which they did on purpose) SHOPPING. It's pure genius.

I had a frend who did a site like this a long time ago, called Girlshop. She did well, but basically, she started when the technology didn't work that well - and now, here we are, google takes it and combines all the technologies around buzz, celebrity and shopping, and put it in one place.

Now they'll have to add the celebrity bloggers on a weekly basis and shoot that to your email so you get dragged into the site. What are the commission deals on this, whats the referral fee...I am really interested in how they did this, so cool.


 9:42 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Did I mention that I hate shopping? But I can see what they are doing here. I just lost 2 hours at work. Not that I mind.....but....


 10:19 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Women fashion? Phew... I'm safe this time around.


 10:24 pm on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Did I mention that I hate shopping? But I can see what they are doing here. I just lost 2 hours at work. Not that I mind.....but....

A worthwhile, different perspective. Several have commented about how it's "not done well." Likely guys. "Lost two hours" sounds like bad design, but...


 3:18 am on Nov 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm really surprised that there are affiliate links, meaning Google is now (amongst the myriad of other things) an affiliate network, a PPC network (with lots of affiliate ads showing) and an affiliate, perhaps soon to be a super-affiliate. I don't think they can get any closer to that thin line between market dominance and monopolistic practices.


 3:53 am on Nov 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's a bit weird at Bing , Bing ignore <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow"> on Boutiques.com , they index 7 pages. Any thought?


 10:05 am on Nov 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Maybe the robots.txt has only just changed, or maybe it is a trap! Perhaps Google will now sue Microsoft for disobeying the robots.txt?


 1:03 pm on Nov 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is probably part of Google's much discussed move to take on Amazon.

Google is the "Borg" and resistance by mom/pop online retail shops is futile.

Hey, at least you still get an ever diminishing Adsense check, right?

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