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Froogle Links At Top Of Google Web SERPs

     
12:22 am on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well, to add to the Google madness, I've just spotted Froogle product links being inserted into the top of search results. Look at:

[google.com...]

You should see a Product Search line where directory or news tags often appear, then product listings coming below that.

2:25 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>> I would think they only show them for US visitors - can anyone tell us if this is the case?

My Google Geolocation tend to shift between Denmark and Germany. I don't see it. However, if i query datacenters directly i see it - quite cool feature, imho:

http //www-ex.google.com/search?q=above+ground+pools
Added: btw. golf club (news) and golf clubs (froogle)

>> The local Google versions used to show the same results

That would not be recently. This changed a long way before "Florida", but perhaps all countries have not been equally fast to get "localized". We have numerous Google's now, not just one.

/claus


that difference between club and clubs is interesting - in this case it is clearly right&relevant not to use stemming, yet another piece seems to pop nicely into place in the puzzle

[edited by: claus at 2:59 pm (utc) on Dec. 6, 2003]

2:45 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Y2OO5

Groogle is another Vista
Search is MSN

3:05 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There was a mention of Froogle in the google friends newsletter that came out this week. I had a sneaking feeling that it was the signal that Froogle was about to go live.

On a side note, I'm not unhappy. We've been maintaining our froogle feed dispite the very low sales 'cause I knew it would go sometime.

Now, the question is...

How do I optimize my feed for Froogle?

3:30 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The deskbar window is now completely filled with inorganic listings (at my resolution at least) on a search containing Froogle links--until you scroll. Who's taking the cool out of Google?!
3:40 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm also seeing, here in Texas, 100 percent click tracking on the URLs for all links on all Google SERPs. In other words, you click on a link and you go to Google to get counted, and then redirected to the link.

There's a "start=XX" name/value pair in the QUERY_STRING also, where the XX is the ranking of that link in the SERPs returned for your search.

Anyone else seeing this? I know Alltheweb has been doing this for some time, and I've seen spotty examples in Google of this tracking, but I'm talking 100 percent here! No, I'm not using the toolbar, and my Google cookie is right out of Google's oven.

3:45 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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shrirch, that was funny.

percentages, I love your comment here--
"Destroy the reason you became popular and you are on a road to ruin."

I will simply add that Froogle is line extension... Line extension has been known to ruin many businesses.

Ask yourself, "is there really a need for Froogle?"
Wasn't Google just fine for finding what you were looking for be it info or commercial?
Is it not the search query that should define the search result?

3:56 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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don't see anything from a german ip. neither on datacenters.
4:10 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The reason for the quality free listings is to drive ad clicks.

IMHO the question is one of balance. I can remember when I stopped watching the USA cable channel due to excessive advertisements; and we have all left web sites because of pop-ups and other types of promotion that just made the experience bad enough to leave.

MAXIMIZE USER EXPERIENCE >>> MAXIMIZE AD REVENUE

We shall see if the user experience is "fun" enough to drive clicks, if not they will adjust the algo.

4:56 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>> Now, the question is... How do I optimize my feed for Froogle?

Just give it a little time and I expect you'll be able to optimize with your bank account.

5:05 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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And if only someone can appreciate how difficult for an algo to detect products and match them with prices and their images

As a techie i understand the difficulty in making an automated product Search Engine ...but lets be frank . Froogle is far from perfect (yahoo shopping beats froogle by miles) .

If you have product that has huge potential but still in infancy ,would you kill the whole bird by releasing it prematurely? --> Big G just did it

6:04 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I believe that now that 3 product prices are shown at top of google searches, the Adwords that are product-related have less click-rate because thay are very similar but with a better position, so less money for Adwords programs and less traffic for Adwords publishers, but more traffic for Froogle listings.
6:08 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've been shopping on the Internet for years and I've never used a price comparison site - they're just an irritation, a 'middleman' as someone put it earlier. I'd rather find a reputable looking specialist site where I can select my goods - sure I'll do a few quick searches on the product to check I'm not being ripped off - but I'm not that bothered about a 50p difference.

As long a it remains free or very cheap, I guess I'll have to produce a feed for Froogle eventually. But Adwords even now are out of the question. The CTR is pathetic in my sector, and I've worked out it will cost me around 25,000 a year to maintain a campaign of tacky boxes in a page 1 position. My turnover just doesn't justify it.

7:26 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I knew this day of Froogle would come and as one who has benefited greatly from free search engine listings, I wasn't looking forward to the front page debut and promotion of Froogle.

I myself have been using Froogle, and I like it if I am looking for a specific product rather than for information. If I was looking for a Nikon CoolPix 3100 digital camera, I would use Froogle. If I was looking for digital camera reviews, I would use Google.

From a strictly business sense, I can understand why Google would want to capture revenue from commercial terms, "money words." I appreciated the fact that Google was willing to refer thousands of buyers to me at no cost, but I always felt that it wouldn't last forever.

But, this will take money away from AdWords. How does Google make money by steering searchers to Froogle?

8:09 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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andy_boyd - I was just about to check that one, but the Froogle listings have disappeared.
I identify with what you are saying - I checked briefly this morning and there were Froogle results for all my missing major keywords. Unfortunately suggesting any such thing encourages suggestions of conspiracy theories.
If G are turning more commercial, what on earth is conspiratorial about that? The only thing that makes it that way is that G is not forthcoming about its current strategy.
Do they not realise that a simple public service announcement would probably have reduced the amount of groaning by at least 50%?
8:37 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>>Do they not realise that a simple public service announcement would probably have reduced the amount of groaning by at least 50%?

Well said, and something that in the past they have been good at. I have no problem with paying for advertising. Lets face it, the internet has been cheap up to now. I will have to look at my pricing though, and perhaps put up prices if I have to pay more for sales. That will be sad, but it is the way of the world.

My problem is with the results:

1) The problem I have with froogle, is that it is price/object orientated. I used to buy white goods that way, but little else. I have in the past got myself in such a frensy over saving 10 on a digital camera, that now I do not bother. Hell, pay the 10, and be sure I get it fast!

2) Also, I never shop at Yahoo stores, epinions, kelkoo, ebay, and every other "general store", because if I am looking for an expert to buy from. I do not want junk, I want a good pair of binoculars, a quality swimming pool, some classy trousers, a safe swing for the kids, a quality ring for the missus.

Next time you shop on google/froogle, see what you get.

I see fewer experts.

8:46 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>I see fewer experts. <

That's because the little guy doesn't have a datafeed set up yet. Want to bet that feeds-support@google.com has a full inbox on Monday morning? :)

8:51 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think in the end it all boils down to price. Look what wal-mart has done to the bricks and mortar world.
We'll start to see the same effects on the web.
Even rich people genarally don't like to -overpay- either.
Information is cheap. (the web made it cheaper)

Im not implying by this post that rich folks will be buying their sterling and caviar @ wal-mart BTY. )

10:27 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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But, this will take money away from AdWords. How does Google make money by steering searchers to Froogle?

I'm seeing AdWords ads on the right side of every froogle.com search I've done in the past 10 minutes. Seems to be no loss to the benefit of a well-written ad and a well-developed keyword campaign.

11:06 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Ah well - I filled in the Froogle data feed form and was told that they only accept sites that prices their goods in US dollars. (I did get a quick reply though, so there you go)
Unfortanately for me, I only have (mainly) customers that wish to purchase in UK pounds.
I guess I miss the boat this time.
Better get on with my new shopping cart!
11:54 pm on Dec 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This was one of my conspiracy theories that I thought wouldn't pan out to be true. The Florida update did have something to do with Froogle.

But alas something is always afoot at Google. Googlebot crawled some pages yesterday on my site that had been 301'ed since April.

--- sigh ---

12:31 am on Dec 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>> How to fight back?

[ offtopic ]

Pretend you're a teen age angst ridden girl and create a blog. You'll see those being featured within a month or so, right before Valentines shopping begins. :)

[ /offtopic ]

Seriously though. Removing adwords and adsense is a bit counter productive. Atleast until the other search engines can provide the addictive revenue that Google provides.

You can however try putting an AV / ATW search box next to your adsense and suggest users try their searches there for alternative results.

My bets are it till take till tuesday or wednesday to see the fallout after a) ecommerce sites have run analysis on conversions, affiliate payouts, b) affiliate sites have had a chance to filter their revenue reports for the weekend.

12:53 am on Dec 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Not seeing anything from the Uk on any of the data centers.
12:56 am on Dec 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Not seeing any Froogle results on any datacentre from [which country am I in? Ah yes] the UK - am using .com, .co.uk and .es

Did they stop? Tried several different commerical keyphrases!

1:01 am on Dec 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hang on - trying phrases like "cd for sale" "music for sale" "books for sale" "pc monitor for sale" and am getting amazon.de in sponsored ads (top), with ad in German, and .com / .co.uk in SERPS, in English.

Did amazon and google merge and nobody told me?

1:11 am on Dec 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Another blow to the wound by google's fruity froogle. I think the key to anything is diversification. This is the affect of relying too much on one thing, in this case google. I dont see the point of putting those fruity ads on top. I thought introducing the Adwords was a mean to seperate the ecommerce sites that Joe Blow can view apart from the Free SERPS. How does froogle fall into this? If google is all into the "user experience" that they preached all this time, then this froogle ads really confuses the average user from seeing Adwords and Froogle ads together. The Adwords is sufficient to represent ecommerce portion of the site. Being a Adwords advertiser, this is really dissapointing. Im pulling my ads down and looking forward to other stable markets. Google changes like the weather. Looks like Google is hoping to sniff some benjamins under the tree this christmas, like the scrooge, but it may find something else when many of the webmasters and users get dissapointed.
1:13 am on Dec 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I saw Froogle ads on G today while doing some christmas shopping and found it to be a very unproductive experience.

I was finding much lower prices from sites in the organic SERPS from much better sites!

Google should turn off Froogle ads on the main site until they get more merchants to opt in before Froogle get a bad rep.

2:13 am on Dec 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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From Sydney Australia, using the first posts example, in www.google.com I get froogle results at the top (3 are actual specific froogle results, and then you get a "Try Froogle: Search for above ground pools and other products").

But at www.google.com.au I don't get the froogle results.

Of couse, the funniest thing from a regional perspective is that the top Adwords result (on www.google.com searching from Sydney Australia) is prominently labelled Sydney - but you had to click the froogle ones to find out that they were from the USA; and the prices touted are US dollars, not Australian peso-dollars. So geotargetting works with adwords, but not for froogle?

Goes to show that if Google is trying to be really smart and guess what a user is looking for - they'd better be consistent. If you want to default geotarget - be consistent!

I suspect that all this half done, pre-emptive "second guessing what I'm looking for" will become as annoying as Microsoft's "clippy" who annoyed the living **** out of most MS Office users until MS dropped it....

Which paperclip do you want to twist into a pretzel today?
:)

4:48 am on Dec 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I resized IE6 to 800x600 without any toolbars to see a results page...

Barely *one* 'natural' result is shown and there is plenty of eye candy in those premium spots and Froggle listings.

It's nice of Google to test their BETA software out during a critical time for E-commerce, eh?

Man. From clean results pages and being "webmaster friendly", all the way to Gorden Geko's "Greed is Good" philosophy to the max in a few weeks. Didn't know the character had a middle name until now. Gorden Google Geko has a nice ring.

Switch people to AltaVista. Like others I uninstalled the Google toolbar and installed the nice clean AV toolbar.

Better yet- I E-mailed my Mother at her office with a few links to show how google is broken, one of the news story links and a few searches that clearly give rediculous results.

Then toss in a a link to that search tool Brett banned from posting to show how many honest people they removed from their listings.

Granted, only 23 woman in their late 40's/early 50's but they sure are "chatter boxes". Most of that office, including my mother's Supervisor, is now AVing instead of Googling. :)

WB

5:54 am on Dec 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Froogle listing really does not appear outside U.S.A. However, it's possible to use some American proxy server, e.g. myShield.com to see the froogled results. It is there, indeed, and that's quite discriminating for non US merchants, because they can't post their feeds to Froogle :-(
5:23 pm on Dec 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Anyone notice any browser specific results in regards to Froggle?

I'm on a mac, and use IE 5.2 (latest and last IE version for the mac, thank you very much).

I do NOT see Froggle results when I work in IE. I do, however, see them when I conduct the same search using Safari.

NEXT QUESTION.....

Could providing a datafeed to Froggle possibly "flag" us and bump us lower in the SERPs?

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