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Once they reach a critical merchant mass and their product becomes perfect ,integrated well with the general search they will go for PFI .Also they sprinkle the top results with affiliate links :)...
In the future Froogle will sure be a mix of PFI and affiliate relationships with little or no free listings...
In the future Froogle will sure be a mix of PFI and affiliate relationships with little or no free listings
It's been said before, but "little or no free listings" just doesn't work. Even the people at Yahoo Product Search know this... After they ended their beta, I got a phone call from a salesperson asking if I wanted to do a paid inclusion. I grinned and said "I'll get back to you". A few days later, Yahoo indexed my whole site for free.
I still do not know why they do not allow affiliates to be listed in the Froogle index
It would just clutter the results, and you'd see loads of listings all for the same product.
Plus (and I'm asking because I don't know) do affiliates sell individual products (i.e., HP 895Cse color cartridge) or do they promote stores (printer ink dealer)? Froogle is individual items.
I can quickly see a PFI consolidator type business coming falling into place.
- Give the affiliates a business address and phone number (easy)
- Include their feeds into mega feed for a fixed fee / item
I do not have any idea on how Google will develop a StoreRank type algorithm similar to PageRank. How will people cast their vote for the store? Will it be a democracy (algorithmic or otherwise)?
Some amount of lateral thinking (and not drinking) brings to the conclusion where it makes more sense run Froogle as a mix of eBay and AdWords. If a user sees an item he presses a "buy" link on the Google page the merchant is obligated under contractual terms to fulfill that order. Never mind .. amazon does this already.. ;)
Yes. There is. That will be the key differentiator to compete with the other product search engines. The same way like they did to their web search:
-"No one can buy a placement" mantra.
-Totally automated algo
And they can make enough $$ with the sponsored listings from Adwords there
Another big player in the affiliate market is preparing an prepackaged store which allows you to run the shopping cart and transfers the product to their when you hit the checkout button.
Yes. There is. That will be the key differentiator to compete with the other product search engines. The same way like they did to their web search
There is inherent difference between Info and Product searches which can enable Google to fully exploit the later without much surfer dissatisfaction
Google cannot fill the normal web search with only paid listings (overture style) as it will not produce relevent results in the case of non-commercial/info searches (which is BTB 80% of total search volume ) because no advertiser will bid just to answer the user .
But product search is different ...User is in the buying mode and the advertisers will be ready to bid for his attention . Overture's mantra "paid listings are relevent" works well here .
When you type "canon powershot G5 Camera" in Froogle will you care the results are paid are not paid?... The only thing you expect is relevent product pages ordered in a specific way (like price) .
But if you type "canon digital camera reviews" in google you expect authorative sites which gives honest (percieved!) info not a paid listing which shamelessly entice you to buy!
Then, i aswell, use the tons of other Product Search Engines.
What Froogle offers on the table is - even if a seller has no product feeds, it would still be in that index, if his/her site is spiderable. That gives a wide- open exciting search for exotic/rare product specific searches. If the results were paid, it cuts down that impression very much.
I think the model Google may go is PFI + some free listings with prefered placement for PFI ... So for submitting the data feeds merchants has to pay and for some small rare things spidered fillup is always there.
The USP of froogle over other product engines is not in free listings or the product superiority (it just has to be as good as others) .It lies on the fact that Google can redirect product searches in the main google to froogle .
People or not going to search separately in different engines for different things (like images/shopping etc) . The engine has to inteligently parse the user's intent and present the appropriate listings . Google knows this and they are sure going to integrate froogle into the main google soon ...fridays testing proves it!
Read Danny Sullivan's take on this - Searching With Invisible Tabs [searchenginewatch.com]
Froogle, from my understanding has applied to become an affiliate with advertisers through LS, and CJ; yes, this is can be verified.
I warned people a year ago. The writing has been on the wall for sometime. We're all about to get screwed by the biggest search engine company in the world. I was scoffed, and told I was a "paranoid". The "Florida" update is just the beginning, and Froogle is just getting warmed up.
Google is also hyping Froogle in its December newsletter:
From a news search, I found out froogle had its own domain (I thought it was just accessible as a google.com subdomain).
It seems safe to conclude that it's going to be mainstreamed soon, and I've applied to send a feed.
If Froogle is as accessible as news, it probably will make money whether or not they use affiliate programs- as long as the sponsored links are clearly labelled and people trust the impartiality of the results.
I'm not sure I like this, though. Too much competition based mainly on price is never healthy.
Die_Hard: can you provide links for Google applying to become an affiliate with advertisers through LS, and CJ? I've done a bit of research and can't find it myself.
So, this is one reason why I think Google is alienating the people that supported them for the decade or so, the WEBMASTERS. They are carving out the little man and just allowing major players to be listed within Froogle as affiliated merchants. I had even sent proof that certain merchants are affiliated merchants (and there was well over 200000 links), and they said that they would look into it. That was about four months ago. The products are still their (only updated), and now I do not even receive a reply from them.
So, there is no doubt in my mind that Google is cherry picking their merchants. I think that is wrong, unfair, and stifles competition. Google is turning out more and more like a big corporation with no morals which does not cater to the small or medium sized business owner.
Thank my take. Whoever doesn't like what I am stating, do not take my word for it. Go over to Froogle, conduct a few searches for common items, and you will eventually see links to merchants who link to affiliated links for purchase and commission.
If it was the idea that no affiliates are to be listed within the Froogle shopping engine, then fine. I can live with that. But when it is some merchants can and some merchants can't that is unfair business practice.
If the ones you reported are doing the same thing, then it may be akin to cops on a highway. Do the cops ever give tickets to everyone who is driving above the speed limit? No, they only do it to some because they have limited assets. It's not fair when you happen to be among the ones who get a ticket, but it doesn't change the fact you were wrong. Life isn't fair. It never has been.
From the Froogle merchant info page [froogle.google.com]
Froogle points users to sites where they can buy actual products from the merchants that sell them. Therefore, to be eligible to submit a feed, you must sell products via your website and ship them to the buyer. If you sell services or custom products that do not have fixed prices, use your website only to promote an offline business, or are an affiliate marketing site, your site content may be crawled by and included in Google's web search, but it will not be included in Froogle. Nor will Froogle accept a data feed under these conditions.
Is my understand correct, or is there some other way that Google plans to make money off of Froogle? Is there a possibility that they will sell Froogle listing directly to merchants?
I think there are a few scenarios that seem to be possibilities. Maybe one of 'em, or all.
(1) Paid inclusion. However, it doesn't seem to be Googles style.
(2) PPC - defeats adwords.
(4) CPM - not likely, but who knows?
(4) CPA - Pay per sale. Good ol' fashioned affiliate marketing, complete with a p.i.d., a.i.d., and quikserv (or bfast, or linksynergy) 1x1 pixel.
The latter is the one I think they will go with. And the latter, imo, will be the death of most of us who have become accomplished experts at "click here, buy this!"