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We have been looking into doing a price comparison site and came to the following conclusions:
1) Visitors need to see all the potential merchants to get a true price comparison.
2) Some merchants do not want their less competative items to be listed, so are reluctant to participate.
If all the merchants are not in the results, particularly the well known ones, then the user looses confidence in the site. They will understandably think there is something funny going on.
I suspect some of the big name stores will not want Froogle to list them, because price comparison is not everything when buying a product, and it will look bad for them if 20 dodgy back street stores are listed at half the price. If a big name is not listed, then Froogle will not achieve COMPREHENSIVE search results, which was the reason Google has done so well.
Without the participation of all big names, Froogle will fade away.
If all the merchants are not in the results, particularly the well known ones, then the user looses confidence in the site.
And that is a difference between MHes making a site and Google making a site. Google already has the user's trust.
And last I checked, Froogle is not a price comparison site, it is a shopping search engine. There is a difference.
I cannot help thinking this Froogle will be doomed as well.
What if the Amazons of their field put pricing in jpeg's?
What if two or three of the major brand names decide to go against?
What if users are too used to the quality search results of regular Google and get disappointed with the misleading pricing presentation (hiding shipping costs etc) and the impossibility to really tune Froogle results to lowest prices?
If Froogle starts out as a success, I would not be suprised if pricing of the 5000 best selling products will all turn to be normalised to an equal presented $ level. Same as with video/dvd equipment shops in high-streets, all guaranteeing the lowest price. Will Froogle loose its attraction if pricing for 70% of the products people visit Froogle for are all equal?
Can it really become an overall global thing as regular Google, or will it only become a success in the USA?
[edited by: vitaplease at 10:17 pm (utc) on Jan. 22, 2003]
What if two or three of the major brand names decide to go against?
Even better for the smaller niche sellers. The big names already have a brand and programs in place to drive traffic to their site. For the small sellers, Froogle's extra traffic is a benefit.
get disappointed with the misleading pricing presentation (hiding shipping costs etc)
This is actually my biggest concern as a site will lose its reputation over time. I won't compare products through pricewatch.com any more because of the misleading pricing. But for every buyer like myself, there are others that won't let the s&h stop them from ordering. So, really it may not be an issue down the line.
This is kind of like the regular google index - amazon has been doing better lately, but for a long time they were nowhere because they had such long dynamic urls with customer data and all sorts of other stuff in them.... - people still flocked to google, for information and to shop.
"Without the participation of all big names, Froogle will fade away."
Airline tickets [froogle.google.com...]
These results will not make people happy. Not everyone is a webmaster and they don't search like this.
When Froogle came out everyone here was talking about it changing Ecommerce. I seriously doubt it will be any more significant than Google images or the directory which no one uses
I think only one thing will determine the success of Froogle - how useful it is to consumers. If it creates value for consumers then they will use it & if some suppliers decide to not participate by banning googlebot etc - well then it will be their loss not Froogles
<mfishy> I believe you are right as of today anyway. And google does need to accept responsiblity if it does make pricing come into play. As many people that use google, if froogle were to become as big as google, it could seriously affect the economy. Blood on Google/Froogles hands, wouldnt be good.
I have only had a brief look at the serps on Froogle, but it strikes me that it would be easy to fool the spider into thinking you are selling, say, a Ferrari car, for £2.50 but in context of the page the visitor would realise it is a model car you are talking about and not a real one. Extreme example, but you get my drift, all a sites pages could be stuffed full of fake prices. The serps become useless.
In other words, spamming froogle will be a piece of cake... not that I would ever do that :)
In other words, spamming froogle will be a piece of cake... not that I would ever do that
Hmm, why go through all the trouble if you can submit a feed with any info you want.
Don't know where it'll get you, but you can submit fake descriptions and prices in the feed without the need to modify your site content.
I believe they will create a success with that service. Yes, it is a hard and long way and they will make a lot of mistakes. But they will make them first. Then they will be first to have a working platform.
If you all agree that a platform like froogle is a valuable service to the surfer, then google is on the right way, even if they do everything wrong now. Afterwards they will have the expertise, the know-how of 3-4 years froogle, a solid customer base, lots of traffic, all mistakes done... then everybody will be proven wrong.
Look at amazon: 6 years loss... now they are the market leader in their segment. same with froogle:
2 years playaround: then the wise old successful man.
my 2 cents
I'm sure Google will find that everyone who uses Froogle will also search on Google..... eventually they will grow tired of doing the two searches and stick to one... probably Google, because of the greater relevance and scope.
How can Froogle establish which vendor should be in the top five?
What do I want as criteria for being tops in the results?
1. Price including shipping costs
3. Security of payment and privacy
4. Speed of delivery
5. Service and refund possibilty
Froogle does not have - 100 variables and independant wighted voters (Pageranked links) to establish if pricing/availibilty/speed of delivery/service etc is really correct or overall best - as it more or less has, in normal Google SERP relevancy, for search queries.
Froogle could be excellent for a short list of on-line vendors for a specific product, once you know what you want through Google.
But it will be my own researching to see which of the top 20 Froogle results satisfies my five above criteria.
[edited by: vitaplease at 2:10 pm (utc) on Jan. 24, 2003]
When the bugs are out and many of us are feeding them data the quality will improve greatly.
It is very true that you need to do specific searches, very specific. But what is wrong with that. Lets say you would like to purchase a certain DVD, or peice of software, the froogle tool will be the way to find it this time next year.
I for one plan on jumping on to the data feed bandwagon in a couple of monthes.