Google's Journey from Froogle to Shopping
By Ina Steiner
In 2002, the geeks at Google named their newly launched shopping tool "Froogle," a nerdy pun on the word "frugal." But, according to Marissa Mayer, the name caused confusion for some because it didn't clearly describe what the product did. So in April 2007, Google changed the name to the more descriptive but boring "Google Product Search."
This fall, Google inserted a link for Product Search on the main Google.com search page to make it easier for holiday shoppers to find the search tool. Last week, Google changed the link's name from "Product" to "Shopping," as noted by the Comparison Engine Shopping Strategies blog (http://www.csestrategies.com/cse/2007/12/friday-finale-g.html). Finally, something shoppers will understand! However, there's no guarantee Google will keep the Shopping link on the main Google.com home page. Many of its prime properties are accessible only by clicking on the "More" link.
If you had any doubts that Google now considers itself in ecommerce, check out this video in which two Google managers explain how you can shop for holiday gifts using Google Product Search in conjunction with Google Checkout: http://googlecheckout.blogspot.com/2007/12/holiday-shopping-with-product-search.html.
Just as eBay promotes PayPal on its marketplace, Google has begun heavily promoting Google Checkout in Product searches. On Google.com search results and on Google Products pages, you can easily limit product search results to those listings in which sellers accept Google Checkout.
Would Google ever provide such a filter for eBay's PayPal service? As long as eBay bans its sellers from accepting Google Checkout payments on its marketplace, it seems unlikely.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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