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The Almighty Buck The Internet

The New Yahoo!, Google, MSN Et Al. Battleground 158

Posted by Hemos
from the shop-till-you-drop dept.
A reader writes: "Kelkoo sold to Yahoo for 575 million dollars!" That, in and of itself is not that interesting - but combine that with Google's inclusion of Froogle into the front page, and things become more interesting. The comparison shopping field, including places like PriceGrabber (Disclaimer: OSDN is an affiliate of PriceGrabber) in the US, Kelkoo/Yahoo! overseas, Froogle, and MSN is heating up in competition. Now that search has been monetized, the next battleground for big money is in comparison shopping, beyond MySimon and other smaller ones.
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The New Yahoo!, Google, MSN Et Al. Battleground

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  • who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:46PM (#8704270)
    google's gonna win cause the other ones suck.

    plus, its got far more name recognition, people using it as a verb and all...

    its like 'kleenex' vs 'tissue paper' or 'xerox' vs 'facsimilie'

    once you have that sort of name recognition, its damn hard to lose in the marketplace...
    • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by iapetus (24050) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:53PM (#8704352) Homepage
      Speaking as a denizen of the UK, Froogle sucks and Kelkoo is the clear winner.

      What I'd actually like to see is a search engine that can tell which companies will ship to my home country, and work out the actual price of the product based on shipping, currency conversion and possibly import duties payable. That would be a lot more useful than a single-country search system, particularly when I don't live in that country.
      • Re:who cares? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Neophytus (642863) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:07PM (#8704503)
        if it's anything like it was a couple of years ago i think pricewatch [pricewatch.com] takes into account international shopping, but this could have changed
      • Re:who cares? (Score:2, Informative)

        by dstarke (602431)

        Well, it isn't part of a search engine, but you can get import duty estimates if you enter your shipment information into the DHL Trade Automation Service [dhl.com].

        You do need to set up an account to do this, and it's a little bit of work to put all your shipment information in, but it's better than being surprised by a large customs bill.

        • Yeh, it's not hard to figure shipping costs, but half the time US shops don't want to know about shipping goods abroad. Fair enough to some degree, as many won't know about filling in export entries and how to handle any taxation issues, plus the ever-present fraud paranoia, but it's still annoying to have to manually filter them out.
    • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cshark (673578) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:53PM (#8704358)
      We don't know that. Yahoo was king for several years. This recent sentament that google "owns" anything is stupid.

      In any case, I think the real winners in this one are going to be those of us that figure out how to leverage these services for our online shops.

      This is going to be a good holiday season :)
      • by Anonymous Coward
        This recent sentament that google "owns" anything is stupid

        Bender: "No, YOU shut up!"
      • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Schnapple (262314) <tomkidd@nosPAM.viatexas.com> on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:34PM (#8704815) Homepage
        I think the real reason that people are so pro-Google is because here is a search engine that works and makes life better. Search engines used to be these sorta-neato things that tried to help us find things but we had to work with and accept poor results. Google changed all of that - think of how many programmers run into an issue and Google Groups save their butter. Google made the web useful.

        As a result, we're protective over Google. We don't want to see them become what came of Yahoo. We hope that, since now the dot-com bubble has burst, Google won't fall into the same traps as Yahoo and the failed search engines. That being said, if someone comes along tommorow hands-down better than Google we'll go there.

        To the extreme, this is what Apple zealots do. When Apple does what other companies get criticized for, the Apple zealots defend them to the bitter end. Sometimes it's that they don't want to believe that Apple could be an evil company, other times it's that they don't have a predisposed blind rage towards the company (see: Microsoft) and are more able to see that sometimes a business decision is just that - a business decision.

        • Re:who cares? (Score:2, Informative)

          by canavan (14778)
          Groups.Google.com existed before google - under the name "DejaNews", until google bought them. The advanced search form still bears a lot of similarity to the original dejanews form, so this is nothing to thank google for. And, if you haven't noticed, almost all search results for things you can buy are filled to the brim with useless spam (at least here at google.de, which I cannot evade unless I abuse some open proxies). Google has started to suck badly, but I still consider it the best search engine for
      • Re:who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by allyourbasebelongtou (765748) on Monday March 29, 2004 @03:54PM (#8706701) Homepage
        Let's remember, there was a period when AV was king... there was also a period where HotBot (aka Inktomi) was a serious, serious contender. I remember very distinctly for a LONG period if I was looking for good technology stuff, (i.e. shopping or mailing list archives) I searched HotBot first.

        I also remember what a great resource NorthernLight was for finding printed materials.

        IMHO, in search it ain't over 'til the dust settles, and it never stays settled for long. :-)
    • Re:who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:58PM (#8704419)
      its like 'kleenex' vs 'tissue paper' or 'xerox' vs 'facsimilie'

      once you have that sort of name recognition, its damn hard to lose in the marketplace...

      That's a bad thing not a good thing. The brand Kleenex is so diluted now that it simply means tissue. How'd you like it if you owned Kleenex and then heard everyone call every tissue Kleenex? All those tissues are benefitting from your trademark and you get nothing in return. That's why Google fought Webster's to have the verb form of Google taken out of the dictionary. They want to protect their trademark; not give it away to the public.

      • by Hell O'World (88678) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:21PM (#8704666)
        How'd you like it if you owned Kleenex and then heard everyone call every tissue Kleenex?

        I think it would be great! How does it hurt Kleenex? So people go to the store with Kleenex on their list, they are MORE likely to buy the Kleenex brand, not less. How do the other brands benefit? They can't say Joe's Kleenex on the box.

        I'm going to Google that... now what was that URL? Hmmm... yahoo.com, right?

        • It might be great, until you lose any brand recognition at all, and then find that you can't defend your trademark because it's become a generic name.
        • by egomaniac (105476) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:35PM (#8704832) Homepage
          They can't say Joe's Kleenex on the box.

          Sure they can, if the word "Kleenex" becomes so widespread that it is no longer a defensible trademark.

          Don't believe me? Then you probably didn't know that "aspirin" and "cellophane", for example, were originally trademarks, not generic words. They were lost to common usage. It does happen, and companies will spend a fortune to try to stop it.
          • by scrytch (9198) <chuck@myrealbox.com> on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:51PM (#8705047)
            Don't believe me? Then you probably didn't know that "aspirin" and "cellophane", for example, were originally trademarks, not generic words. They were lost to common usage.

            Actually you'll still see a Registered Trademark Symbol after Aspirin if you buy Bayer brand, but it's not actually meaningful now. Bayer AG had to give up their trademark to Aspirin as a term of the Treaty of Versailles after WWI.

            Factoid for ya, another trademark Bayer lost that way: Heroin.
            • I'd never heard this before so I researched it briefly (Google is still the king) to see what the scoop was. This [rr.com] is an interesting website with the backstory on this little known factoid of history.

              Learn something new every day. Welcome to my friends list :)

          • They were lost to common usage.

            They are normally lost because the companies own success or use general use (or unintended use like a verb) of the trademarked and or patented product name and also a lack of action to prevent misuse of the word. A good description of the concept is here [wikipedia.org] . Aspirin had more factors [wikipedia.org] then just a generic name and was lost quickly. Interestingly, I remember Yahoo having commerical asking, "Do you Yahoo?".
        • by The-Dalai-LLama (755919) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:58PM (#8705138) Homepage Journal

          The free advertising is great, the problem comes when your quality name becomes widely associated with shoddy products.

          Example (completely fictitious and anecdotal): You spend a lot of time and resources to ensure that your Trampoline(tm) brand exercise products are fun and safe, but you don't pay enough attention to keep your trademarked name secure. The Profit-From-Kidz corporation releases a line of shoddy trampolines responsible for the deaths of 35 tots (really cute, photogenic tots). Global headlines trumpet the dangers of "trampolines", the market collapses, your company folds. If your trademarked name had been protected, headlines about the dangers of the Profit-From-Kidz Suspended Exercise Spring Mat would have had much less impact on your business.

          Why do you think the makers of a certain type of interlocking construction toy are so rabid about protecting their trademarks? [lego.com] The PR difference between a headline about a child choking on a "construction brick" and a child choking on a Lego(tm - please don't sue me) is huge.

          The Dalai Llama
          when my cult goes international, I'll want 25 cents everytime somebody says llama...

    • Re:who cares? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Phekko (619272)
      You mean sorta like once it was called 'IBM PC' ? No? Ok, maybe the way it used to be called a 'hoover' instead of a vacuum cleaner? You CAN lose that kind of name recognition. It just gives you quite an edge on the competition. Remember the days when everyone was using Netscape?

      If you make bad decisions and your competition makes better ones, you'll end up losing someday. Look what happened in the war Intel vs AMD. Ofcourse you'll have quite a lead on the competition if you can spend, say, $10 BILLION mak
  • by prostoalex (308614) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:47PM (#8704277) Homepage Journal

    From what I understand, Froogle is very different from PriceGrabber, PriceWatch, BizRate [bizrate.com], Yahoo! Shopping, MySimon, Nextag and others. You have to pay and provide the XML feed with your products to the search engine (or be a hosting customer of Yahoo! Stores to be listed in Yahoo! Shopping), so really in a nutshell those places are nothing more than databases, broken down into categories with database search enabled. The selection is limited.

    Froogle, however, is purely search engine. Just like the Google Web search, you'll be in their database if you happen to sell something, your site has a dollar tag on it next to the product, and you're not hiding your products behind some obscure interface that search engine has no access to.

    There's little technological value in PriceGrabber, PriceWatch, BizRate, DealTime, Yahoo! Shopping and others, but there's technology involved with Froogle that gives you much broader choice of vendors.

    What I would like to see, although I'd admit it might be asking for too much. But you know those places that give you cashback if you shop online with them? Basically they get the affiliate comissions and then pay you back as part of the deal. eBates [ebates.com] and FatCash [fatwallet.com] are the ones I use, but there are more. It would be really nice if the shopping search engines knew that I could get a certain kick back from the amount of sale, and they would display the price like "Seller price - $399, use FatCash for additional 4% ($12) off".

    That would naturally involve some kind of cooperation with the cashback site, but that would definitely add some value for the consumer. I don't see any search engine implementing it soon (after all, it would be eBates and FatCash making money off this feature, not the engine), but if Google were to implement similar program, I would sign up for it.

    • by Otter (3800) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:59PM (#8704429) Journal
      Froogle, however, is purely search engine. Just like the Google Web search, you'll be in their database if you happen to sell something, your site has a dollar tag on it next to the product, and you're not hiding your products behind some obscure interface that search engine has no access to.

      Maybe I just have peculiar tastes, but -- Froogle almost never comes close to giving me a true lowest price. I'm not a hard-core online bargain hunter but instead frequently check Froogle and then go over to Amazon or something equally high-profile and find the same thing for 20% less.

      YMMV, obviously...

    • by ZachReligious (313979) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:00PM (#8704441) Homepage
      Froogle, however, is purely search engine. Just like the Google Web search, you'll be in their database if you happen to sell something, your site has a dollar tag on it next to the product, and you're not hiding your products behind some obscure interface that search engine has no access to.

      Not Exactly True... I have done a couple of websites that use comparison engines, and they both use a feed to submit the product listings to froogle.

      I think it's a good thing. It allows the stores to keep their listings up to date as far as pricing and such goes. (and probably more accurate than a spider can generate)
    • by amigoro (761348) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:05PM (#8704489) Homepage Journal
      Froogle, however, is purely search engine. Just like the Google Web search, you'll be in their database if you happen to sell something, your site has a dollar tag on it next to the product, and you're not hiding your products behind some obscure interface that search engine has no access to.

      You have made a very valid point. On other sites are, for all intents adn purposes, surchable advertisement database, where as froogle is truly a price seeking search engine.

      Any price searching system, where the seller has to pay to get in, is not a fair one for the consumer. It is often the case that the difference in price, and actual worth, of a product is more advertising than profit. And if vendors have to pay more to get their products advertised on price comparisions search enginers, then, that cost is passed on to the consumer. And some sellers might not just want to, or might not have the budget to pay for such services. In those circumstances, the consumer loses out by not being shown the cheapest seller on the market.

      From strictly "consumer is the king" standpoint, Froogle is the only true price comparison search engine of the ones you mentioned. But as a business model, froogle might not be the most successful. Time will only tell.

      Moderate this comment
      Negative: Offtopic [mithuro.com] Flamebait [mithuro.com] Troll [mithuro.com] Redundant [mithuro.com]
      Positive: Insightful [mithuro.com] Interesting [mithuro.com] Informative [mithuro.com] Funny [mithuro.com]

    • You are forgetting the added value of engines like PriceWatch, shopping.com, etc.: Knowing how good/bad are the stores you find out being with the lowest price. Google only let you find out about the stores and prices, but you have no means to know (besides doing other searches) if that specific store is a safe place to buy, or if it just another shop with terrible service, delivery, etc.
    • http://froogle.google.com/froogle/merchants.html

      Google crawls billions of webpages every month, so you'll likely be included automatically in Froogle's index of sites. If for some reason your store is not showing up and you would like it to be included in Froogle, please submit a data feed. Doing so will ensure that your entire product catalog is included in Froogle, and it will also allow you to control the freshness and accuracy of your product information. Feeds can be updated as you add new products
  • Google is the best of all these, and besides, most people don't really care for what search engine provides what. I would think they go to all these engines looking for the best prices and go the store to look at the actual product also. So, all this competition is pointless seeing that google will come out on top.
    • by Wun Hung Lo (702718) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:56PM (#8704392)
      Not possible, mon frere. Microsoft is the clear leader in the search field (even though they haven't done it yet). To quote the head of MS's search project, "Google is a nice little search engine, but nothing compared to my vision." I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm quivering with anticipation. I know that you non-believers will say, "But Wun Hung Lo, how is it possible that I will do a search on MS's web site and not find my answer, but if I do the query on Google, I will find a hit on MS's website! Is it possible that Google has MS indexed better than MS themselves?" All I can say that it is an unexplainable anomaly and will be fixed with the next security patch. MS search rules!!
      • "Google is a nice little search engine, but nothing compared to my vision."

        That's the eternal problem of comparing realities to visions. The realities always look pretty dull in comparison. No real government can measure up to the visions of Communism or Libertarianism.
    • That's such an idiotic comment. You are then of the opinion that projects such as Linux, Mozilla, OpenOffice.Org, The GIMP, etc. are useless because Windows, Internet Explorer, MS Office and Photoshop are available and people don't really care for what software they use? You say that competition is useless: let's all stop using alternative operating systems and let's all use Windows, there's no point in fighting it, it will come out on top!

      Wake up, competition in the search engine industry benifits the

  • Help Yahoo? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vijayiyer (728590) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:50PM (#8704323)
    I wonder if this will help Yahoo have a P/E ratio of better than their current 128. It seems like the tech bubble is back - Yahoo's stock price has more than doubled in the last year.
    • just this Friday:

      "We are back in a mini-bubble era in terms of people expecting a lot of these valuations but I don't think we'll see the same amount of exits the way we did..."

      - quote from this Silicon.com article [cneteu.net]. He was speaking at an MSN online advertising conference, so a lot on the future of ads; besides that he also seems to be very interested in wireless technology.

  • by conner_bw (120497) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:50PM (#8704328) Homepage Journal
    Slighty OT, but i just sent this email to google. Perhaps it is of interest to others. All ideas should be free.

    -=-=-

    I have two ideas that i will be transforming into an OSX application some day, however that some day is some time away. It would be nice to see this idea put to good use.

    1) The most relevant web pages are the ones i've already seen.

    Countless times in the back of my mind, there is this web page i've seen briefly in the past at one time or another. Today, I need to find that web page. I start my browser of choice and surf to Google. It takes me quite a while to figure out the right keywords and even more time to surf through pages I have never seen until I find the one I was looking for, one i had already visited in the past. Frustrating.

    All of this could be avoided if I had a user side application that indexed my browser cache. A local database of indexed webpages that I have already seen would heed the best results under the previous scenario. Such a scenario is not uncommon.

    2) Search results are not popularity results.

    The web needs to incorporate a Nielsen Ratings system. Every four months for two weeks, a few thousand people running the previous application are randomly chosen to participate in a data sampling system, with consent. For every page a user in the study visits during those two weeks, a central database collects the URL and their IP. The IP is used to get a geographical statistic, while the URL is used to get a popularity statistic. Those stats would be of use to many people, including the Google Page Rank system.

    Well that's it.

    Competing against Google seems futile at this point in my life. If you feel these ideas are worth while, feedback is appreciated.

    Thank you for your time.

    • All of this could be avoided if I had a user side application that indexed my browser cache. A local database of indexed webpages that I have already seen would heed the best results under the previous scenario. Such a scenario is not uncommon.

      The google toolbar already incorporates part of this functionality by use of the drop down search.

    • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:04PM (#8704474)
      Competing against Google seems futile at this point in my life.

      I bet all Google employees are letting out a sigh of relief at this very moment...
    • by Psychic Burrito (611532) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:04PM (#8704478)
      The "search through the webpages you've seen in the past 3 years" feature is a killer. I'm really looking forward using it.
      To be useful, for me it had to be:
      - Extremely low on the cpu
      - keep the database small (10'000 webpages in 50MB or less)
      - fast. Let me search in 2seconds tops.

      Anyobdy already working on this?
      • To be useful, for me it had to be:
        - Extremely low on the cpu
        - keep the database small (10'000 webpages in 50MB or less)
        - fast. Let me search in 2seconds tops.

        Anyobdy already working on this?


        I am, but mine has the following specs:
        - Extremely cpu intensive
        - huge 5 GB Database per year archived
        - extremely slow with frequent system crashes, at least 50 minutes per search and the search program gets set to the highest priority so nothing else can function
        • - Extremely cpu intensive
          - huge 5 GB Database per year archived
          - extremely slow with frequent system crashes, at least 50 minutes per search and the search program gets set to the highest priority so nothing else can function


          Wow, I developed something very similar for email. It's called Outlook and I am hoping it catches on and becomes really popular. Check it out and let all of your friends know about it.

          -bill
      • Well, my newsbot [memigo.com] does this already for news articles you've read through it: you can search everything, you can search articles you've read, or articles you've read *and* rated highly. You can also set up "search alerts" that search any new articles and then stick them to your front page (or your personalized RSS feed, or your personalized PDA-optimized page). Check it out.
      • The interesting optimization here isn't so much space used but how the results are actually displayed. Data stored client-side is supposed to influence the search results, so one of two things has to happen:

        1) Some data needs to be sent from the client to the server on every search.
        2) The client has to receive the raw search data and then do the ordering.

        I can see problems with both of these. In situation 1, either all the websites viewed needs to be sent (causing a bandwidth bottleneck), or there needs t
      • couldn't you just search google then cross reference its results with the ones in your database?
      • Quite interesting. I too have "wished I could" but never really thought twice about building such a thing.

        Under Linux/BSD/etc it might be very easy to hack one together... you could just watch the cache (or the squid) and throw everything in a database.

        Where I think it becomes more challenging is the small-disk-space requirement. If you have wide-ranging interests you're going to have a pretty huge database pretty quickly.

        You might be able to get around that by strictly limiting what you keep - eg, met
    • All of this could be avoided if I had a user side application that indexed my browser cache. A local database of indexed webpages that I have already seen would heed the best results under the previous scenario. Such a scenario is not uncommon.

      Good idea, however it might be cooler if users were able to personalize google with their own name/pass and then it remembers where you've been on their end. (Maybe up to n-sites, n being greater than 5,000.) The more client-side data I have to tote around the mo
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Not to say that slashdot doesn't have an excellent moderation scheme

        I can't decide if you're being sarcastic, or if you genuinely fail to realize the Slashdot moderation system consists of mostly clueless people giving grades to other clueless people's posts, then more clueless people giving grades to the grades given by the first set of clueless people...
      • All too often comments get modded to 5 even though they are filled with erronious facts or lies.

        I can hear it now--Janet Jackson testifies before the Senate Subcommittee on Obscenity in Football (not Pertaining to Salaries).

        Senator: Originally, your story was that the flash...
        Janet Jackson: Wardrobe malfunction, please.
        Senator: Right. Wardrobe malfunction, was the result of an accident. Now, you say that that is not necessarily correct...?
        JJ: Well, Senator, that depends on what your definition of i

    • > there is this web page i've seen briefly in the
      > past at one time or another. Today, I need to find
      > that web page.

      Mozilla's history browser is quite good at this. Granted it only shines on sites you visited 6 days or less ago (everything else gets lumped into one group), but all it takes is a quick scan of the domain names and you can generally pick out what you need.

      I suppose it could be cool to have mozilla record the referrer for every domain, and if it came from a search engine it stores t
    • by scrytch (9198)
      > The web needs to incorporate a Nielsen Ratings system.

      You mean like the one Nielsen already has [netratings.com]?
    • All of this could be avoided if I had a user side application that indexed my browser cache. A local database of indexed webpages that I have already seen would heed the best results under the previous scenario.

      How were you thinking the implementation would look? Like an option 'search sites I've already visited' next to 'search'? Or some other way?

      It's quite a neat idea actually.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:50PM (#8704330)
    Froogle bumped Directory [google.com] off the front page. This is a major blow to DMOZ [dmoz.org], the second after Netscape more or less abandoned it.
    • DMOZ is still king, but is it getting too big for its britches?

      A friend tried to become an editor but with little or no response to his applications. I know he would like to help out but they do not seem to be interested in any help or saying why this person is not good enough to help out.

      The same goes for site listing. They are slow to react if they do at all.

      Is this the common experience or is my friend just hopeless? I sort of would like to tell him that the slashdot community has deemed him
    • by yppiz (574466) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:25PM (#8704703) Homepage
      Permit me a constructive mini-rant here - please read it before moderating it as -5 troll.

      ODP/DMoz is dead.

      I don't mean that it's a bad idea, I mean that while I found ODP/DMoz to be very, very useful four years ago, I no longer search it for starting points. The links in ODP are stale and rarely of better quality than what I get back from Google.

      And now to my rant.

      For several years, I've volunteered to participate as a DMoz/ODP editor. I enjoy helping out and volunteering, and I submitted applications in which I had very, very strong domain knowledge (collaborative filtering was one).

      I went through a fair amount of work filling out the application form for ODP/DMoz editor status, for a subject that had no editor, and what happened? They rejected me without comment.

      Here I am, a domain expert on collaborative filtering, not just with academic credentials, but with two deployed and fairly heavily used systems, and they dropped my application without comment. (And at the time, I had no commercial relationship with either filter, so I doubt it was because of perceived bias).

      Same thing happened when I applied to be an editor of another unrelated category.

      These were both categories that did not yet have editors, and here I was, a pretty qualified applicant, and getting rejected without comment.

      So I gave up. I just didn't get it, and left with the perception that DMoz/ODP was some collection of people who all knew each other, rather than an open volunteer effort. I don't know that this is true, but it's why I didn't vclunteer any more.

      Is ODP/DMoz dead? I don't know, but as a user, I find Google better, and as someone who volunteers for community projects (Wikipedia admin, journal reviewer, scientific conference organizer), I think ODP/DMoz seems broken from the community side as well.

      Here are my suggestions: ODP should open up the editorial application process. None of this secret anonymous stuff. Further, they should actively seek qualified volunteers. Finally, they should automate as much as possible to increase coverage and accuracy. DMoz is still a great idea, and I believe it can again become the directory of useful knowledge - the place I would turn to when a straight search fails.

      --Pat

      • You're not alone in seeing dmoz falling apart. I joined dmoz just as it was renamed from gnuhoo to newhoo (you know what-hoo didn't like either), and so I was in there really early.

        What happened with dmoz is that it attracted a lot of spammers, and since once people were approved as editors, they could cause a lot of damage, they started to screen new signups, and rejected something like 95% of applicants.

        You weren't the only one to experience rejection in spite of good credentials. At the time, dmoz ha

      • I completely agree. dmoz is dead. I myself was rejected about 5 times in the last 4 years. But the really important point is
        - quality went down, way down
        - the way dmoz works is against changing stuff quickly
        - there is no peer review. Once you're an editor, you can pretty much do what you like. There is a master-subordinate system at work though so your category's parent's editor can control you, but this is wrong on so many levels:
        a) those people are often lazy
        b) those people can't look after everything
        c) t
  • by FortKnox (169099) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:52PM (#8704339) Homepage Journal
    The question is what comparison shopping search did yahoo use to buy Kelkoo??
    • ..why is there something very familiar about this:
      Now that search has been monetized, the next battleground for big money is in comparison shopping, beyond MySimon and other smaller ones.
      Is it just me or is there another bubble building up here?
  • Huh? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Anyone got a Venn diagram of this?
  • resellerratings.com (Score:5, Interesting)

    by enrico_suave (179651) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:54PM (#8704367) Homepage
    Ressellerratings.com [resellerratings.com] has some neat comparison shopping functionality. along with the the vendor rating info, it allows you to figure out what would be cheapest when buying several items including shipping.

    Sometimes buying the cheapest items (e.g. from a pricewatch search) spread across different stores costs more when you are done than if you were to take a different approach and lump some of the purchases together.

    another neat tool for amazon only is pricenoia [pricenoia.com] some products might be cheaper overseas even after shipping/exchange rate.

    *shrug* YMMV,

    e.

  • by Everyman (197621) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:55PM (#8704374) Homepage
    The next battleground is not comparison shopping. Much more important is the coming battle over Yahoo's Site Match program. Site Match plans to insert paid listings into the main algorithmic index without labeling these links. The FTC frowns on this, unless Yahoo can show that these links are ranked the same as unpaid links. A new site called Yahoo Watch [yahoo-watch.org] is already tabulating the ranking differential between paid and unpaid links. Google doesn't mess with the unpaid listings, Ask Jeeves doesn't, and Microsoft, according to some comments that were made last week, is taking a hard look at this issue for their upcoming search engine that will be launched in about a year.
  • by websensei (84861) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:57PM (#8704399) Journal
    According to Nielsen/NetRatings, Shopping.com is the No. 2 most-visited comparison-shopping site. estimating a $75 million take from the IPO.

    dmnews.com article, 3/26/2004 [dmnews.com]
  • Yahoo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ender Ryan (79406) <TOKYO minus city> on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:57PM (#8704407) Journal
    Does anyone else find it funny that Yahoo is so cluttered and confusing (well, IMHO anyway) that it should really have a search engine just for itself?

    Heh, nothing worse than trying to get stuff done and having to use a site that's just got too damn much on it.

  • by FunkSoulBrother (140893) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:57PM (#8704409)
    I have a bad feeling Froogle is going to get taken by the same people who list things for a dollar on Pricewatch and then you can't find anything near that price when you click the link.
    • or a flurry of pr0n popups open... it's going to be tough indeed.
    • With sites that list multiple products on one page.

      I've been searching for video cards on Froogle, to get an idea of price ranges. Several times Froogle has returned a top of the line video card for a couple hundred dollars less than everyone else.

      But when I click on the page, it's really the same price. Froogle was just getting confused about another video card listed on the page. It just took the first price on the page, I think.
  • by markkellman (662190) on Monday March 29, 2004 @12:59PM (#8704430)
    The upgrading of Froogle is only part of a much larger Google overhaul today. Other new features include a personalized search, and an email web alerts service. The latter seems to be a scaled-down copy of the well known Google Alert [googlealert.com] service. Can anyone find an overarching pattern to all these moves?
  • The search engines of MSN and Yahoo! are nothing more than engines that search throught paid listings (ads) with enough "backfill" included to try and hide the fact.

    Neither one understands who their primary customer is. Hint: it is not the advertiser.

    Talk is cheap. Neither Yahoo! or MSN have yet shown any evidence of having anything even close to competing with Google for the informeed searcher (notice [MSN, are you listening?] I didn't call the searcher the "consumer".)

    -Pete
    • ``Neither Yahoo! or MSN have yet shown any evidence of having anything even close to competing with Google for the informeed searcher''

      However, MSN has a powerful ally: MicroSoft Internet Explorer. I don't remember the details (it's been a long time since I last had to use MSIE), but it will send you to MSN search sometimes. MicroSoft could easily (and I think they will) add a search field like Mozilla and Opera have, and have it use MSN Search. That would significantly tilt the playing field in MSN's favo
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:07PM (#8704504)

    Pricewatch used to be cool and useful. Now, all the vendors are using tricks in their ads. For example, search for a popular wireless router, and easily the entire first page is for some crappy no-name router with the text "JUST LIKE (insert model number of the popular router)". Do they get de-listed for doing it? Of course not, because nobody's policing it anymore.

    Many vendors I used to use and like have stopped listing with pricewatch for just such reasons. Like the rest of OSDN, there's no active work; they swallowed a bunch of popular resources, and then it's just "let's go on cruise control, and sell as many ads as we can". Notice how on a regular basis we get 500 errors when trying to post? In fact, I'd be willing to bet the only development done on slashdot in the least 2 years has been a)adding subscriptions and b)adding more advertisements.

  • What is the point? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bwindle2 (519558)
    I don't really understand these sites... Doing a search for a common product (such as a 2.8C Intel P4 Retail) shows you can get it about $5 cheaper than from, say, NewEgg.com. Now, NewEgg also gives you free 2nd-day shipping, and you are dealing with a company that you *know* and trust (if not, just check them out at ResellerRatings, they rock). Is the risk worth $5? I say no. I buy all my stuff from NewEgg, and have never looked back.
    • by stratjakt (596332) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:19PM (#8704642) Journal
      People buy things other than computer components online.

      Newegg or googlegear are fine for electronics, I use them too and dont bother with pricewatch searches anymore..

      But what if you want a baby crib, a waffle iron, a pair of boot cut jeans and alligator boots to go with them, a unicicle, or a chia pet?

      Right now I know many regular folks who buy online through Amazon, you can find practically anything. You're really buying from partners (Toys R Us, Office Depot, Etc), but Amazon makes a convenient portal to do so.

      That's what these folks all want. For people like my mother to just instinctively go to "msn.com", like she does Amazon now, when she's christmas shopping for the grandkids.
  • What the hell, exactly, is a Kelkoo?

    "Pricegrabber", at least I can see where they got that name...
  • Aren't MSN and Yahoo just product search engines as it is with enough backfill included to try and hide the fact?

    -Pete
  • Search Fears (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The-Dalai-LLama (755919) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:11PM (#8704559) Homepage Journal
    Now that search has been monetized, the next battleground for big money is in comparison shopping

    I may be a little too cynical, but I use Google about a googillion times a day, and the more references I see about the search engines becoming the next playing field for big-money, the more afraid I become. A handful of paid advertisements on the right side of the screen are fine, but with the evil empire stating that they don't want me to be able to even get on the net without seeing a Microsoft ad and all the big money playaz making major announcements about their intent to dominate the search engine field, all I see are bad things headed our way.

    A lot of people are spending a lot of money to break in, and there wouldn't be this much interest without some really good plans for making us pay for all of it.

    The Dalai Llama
    remember when MTV used to play music videos?

  • Not interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tkrotchko (124118) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:27PM (#8704729) Homepage
    I find it very interesting that a dot-com is selling for over half a billion dollars years after the dot-com bust.

    The must have a helluva cash flow to justify that kind of pricetag.
  • They're also competing for local search [siliconvalley.com].

    Try Google lab's [google.com] for pizza in your (American) city or zipcode.

  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:36PM (#8704839)
    Now we'll never be able to run a search for anything with out all the commercial sites showing up in the first 4000-5000 hits.

  • Froogle? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by digidave (259925) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:38PM (#8704859)
    Froogle hasn't been put on the front page for google.ca and .com forwards me to .ca. What I wonder is why Froogle is limited to the US site. The Internet is worldwide and I've ordered from US online merchants before. What's stopping them from including Froogle on all their localized home pages and simply adding a note saying it only searches US merchants?

    I guess they don't believe in the global Internet economy.
    • ...which is seen as a special case. Far fewer ship futher afield (Europe for example). Next to none do this without exorbitant shipping fees, and then there are the taxes and duties that the customer will be assessed at the point of entry in their country. Frankly, it's not generally worth it for the consumer - even with the weak dollar, it worked out more or less the same price for me to get a Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) from Germany, and without all the hassle of trying to deal with a US merchant (most
  • Froogle Spamming? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ripperbenz (766407) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:48PM (#8705010)
    Before the interception of Froogle, a friend of mine had this idea of a crawler that crawls the Web to find the best price for a desired product. One of the reasons I told him his idea might fail was that the spider cannot confirm that a product will actually be sold for the advertised price. Malicious sellers would then advertise products at ridiculous prices, just to top the list of results.

    Maybe that's why Froogle lists results by some secret "Best match" algorithm, but I suspect it would pretty quickly become the next target of rogue merchants, especially because Froogle has a consuming-oriented audience. We'll can only wait and see how Google's smarties fight back; maybe they'll created a database of trusted merchants, the way Google News works [google.com].

  • by mabu (178417) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:55PM (#8705099)
    A few years ago, I discovered one of my servers slowed to a crawl. Upon further inspection it was one of (the more prominent) price-grabber systems hammering various client sites collecting prices. Many of them seem to open tons of simultaneous connections and effectively DOS'd the server. We had to complain for two days to get them to back off. I'm not a big fan of these sites, and most of the time the shipping/availability as indicated isn't accurate.
  • Wikipedia and Yahoo (Score:4, Informative)

    by teslatug (543527) on Monday March 29, 2004 @01:58PM (#8705131)
    Some of you may be interested to know that Yahoo has announced that Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] will be among its CAP partners [businesswire.com].
  • Froogle. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ajutla (720182)
    I've played around with Froogle a little; it seems prety accurate. It used to give you bogus prices when you'd search for a given item, though; lately it's gotten better.
  • I can't even create one good spam mail address from google. It's like they're not even setup to support the spammer. Lame google.
  • wow - i had no idea (Score:2, Informative)

    by nFriedly (628261)
    OSDN is good stuff! PriceGrabbar is my favorite shopping site (with froogle close behind in second place), and i had no idea that it was an affiliate of OSDN! Maby I'll just go shop there right now...
  • by JasonKey (656223) on Monday March 29, 2004 @03:54PM (#8706714) Homepage
    This is going to make a hell of a E-Commerce Aggregation Engine. Think of it this way, http://www.pricewatch.com is basically something similar, but with the power of Google, and this first step towards a standardized Merchant Data Feed [google.com] with Google helping set that standard, things could get quite interesting. Are we going to see Blogger get into the scramble here? Are we soon to see RSS/Atom feeds for product types / lines?

  • Poor Google.

    They're smoking the crackpipe of their own search technology, and attempting to apply it to shopping.

    In contrast to Froogle most other shopping agents (like MySimon, BizRate, Shopping.com, etc.) use a CPC (cost per click) model combined with a "bid" system which allows merchants to "bid up" their listings.

    In other words if you're willing to pay a higher CPC (as big, well known brands typically are), you'll rank higher in the listings.

    Froogle however, attempts to use its page ranking algorith
  • Poor Google.

    They're smoking the crackpipe of their own search technology, and attempting to apply it to shopping.

    As an online merchant I supply a data feed to *all* the shopping agents except Froogle. Why would I want to be buried 17 pages deep when I'm willing to spend $1 or more per click from a well-targeted user?

    In contrast to Froogle most other shopping agents (like MySimon, BizRate, Shopping.com, etc.) use a CPC (cost per click) model combined with a "bid" system which allows merchants to "bid up"
  • Yeah, that's it, one based on OS, GPL and P2P princples and technology??

    Instead of having all these commercialized search engines that churn up BULLSHIT with all the commercial sites turning up at the top and the USEFUL sites at the bottom of the heap.

    Write it as an OS app and make it Peer to Peer based, better yet, work a little of the seti@home tech into it too.. Yeah, put all those idle computers to work as the worlds biggest NON COMMERCIAL search engine.

    And under no circumstances allow commercial we
  • Yahoo is a verb also. ;)

    I do believe that Google will continue to stay on top, even with the launch of their new interface (which is still simple). It just goes to show how simple things can help our lives.

    Yahoo's purchase will not be in vain though. Maybe they won't rise to beat Google in the search engine wars, but after all... they are a lot more than just that. Yahoo is a lot of things; searching the internet through them is just a plus.

In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain. -- Pliny the Elder

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