In December of 2002 after being beta for several years Google released Froogle. Froogle was Google’s Product Search & Google Base platform. Over the years Google went from being Froogle to a commercial focused shopping result platform. Here’s a break down of different Google Product Search platforms;
- Froogle (2002)
- Google Product Search (2007)
- Google Base (2010)
- Google Shopping (w/Paid Results) (2012)
Even though it may seem like they’ve just made changes to the names, they actually changed much more. Various changes have been made along with every name change.
This most recent change (last week) was the biggest change yet. This change includes paid results, in other words, relevant results are outranked by paid results.
Sameer Samat, Vice President of Product Management at Google Shopping said “We are starting to transition Google Product Search in the U.S. to a purely commercial model”
This makes them even further away from the “Froogle” shopping platform they used to be. Besides that, now all the companies with the most advertising dollars are going to be the ones we see first. This pretty much kills the small businesses and mom ‘n pop shops.
Google claims that this will benefit the consumer. Now that advertisers are paying to rank on their shopping engine, they will take it more serious, by making sure they have accurate products descriptions and converting price points. This will make the results we see cleaner and more user friendly.
According to Google “This will give merchants greater control over where their products appear on Google Shopping.”
The fact still remains, if you are an e-commerce store that get sales via Google Product Search, be ready to fork some cash to keep the business coming. Otherwise, your competitors with deeper pockets will out-rank and out-sell you.