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Google Base To Replace Froogle 68

An anonymous reader writes "Google plans to introduce a new shopping feature in time for the holiday season. Soon products on Google Base will be searchable via the regular search box. Simultaneously, Google intends to de-emphasize its own Froogle shopping search engine; Google intends for Froogle to no longer be a standalone Web site." From the article: "When people search for products on Google.com, the system will present them with another search box so that they can refine their query, according to Bear Stearns & Co analysts. After people refine their query, Google takes them to a second page populated with product results from the Google Base listings service. 'Ranking will be determined by the attributes that the sellers listed for the product as well as by relevancy,' the analysts wrote. Currently, Google has no plans to monetise this product-search capability with display ads or listing fees, but that could change, they wrote. "
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Google Base To Replace Froogle

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  • Err, okay (Score:2, Funny)

    by isecore ( 132059 )
    according to Bear Stearns & Co analysts

    I need some sleep, I read that as "Stern Bears Analysts" and thought, man that must be a tough firm to work for!
  • All your Google Base are belong to us...

    (sorry)

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 )
      No need to apologize. You saved me from posting the same inane garbage. And yes I own a ferret Captain, and an exferret Cats. My exgf named them.
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by Plutonite ( 999141 )
        That was the funniest offtopic post and mod I've ever read.

        Dude, we don't care if you have ferrets named Captain and Cats by your exgf. How can that information possibly improve our lives? And what the crap is an exferret? Is it like a ferret that leaves with your gf, who named it? Or did it just roll over and die?
        • by rk ( 6314 ) *

          " Or did it just roll over and die?"

          No, it's pining for the fjords.

    • That's alot of bases. Imagine the paperwork.
    • Or..... all your base are belong to froogle ^^
  • It's about time! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Urza9814 ( 883915 ) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @03:59PM (#16177517)
    I gotta say, I love all things google, but froogle is absolutely horrible. It just gives you too much unrelated junk, and sort by price never works because of that. Try searching it for cheap iPods. You gotta first sort through 30 or 40 pages of iPod cases...with no real way to remove 'em all. It's best to just stick with sites like pricegrabber or even pricewatch unless you know VERY specifically what you want.
    • by Momoru ( 837801 )
      Yeah, but have you seen Google Base? That thing is perhaps the most useless of all.
    • Shouldn't they just be able to provide a way to search by manufacturer part number instead of searching by the item name. It would probably return a lot better results.
    • It is usually possible to refine out of the way certain products - my beef is the stores. I do not want to be searching through hundreds of the exact same product all with different entries that sell at 'auction' or on eBay.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I use Froogle all the time. It's really simple to get useful results out of it - do you really think you're going to find a $15 ipod somewhere? Of course not, that'll be some useless case or related item. So set your lower price bound to something half-reasonable, like $100. Cuts out tons of crap, as long as you have *some* clue about the expected price range of what you're looking for.
    • Re:It's about time! (Score:4, Informative)

      by scooter.higher ( 874622 ) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @05:52PM (#16178285) Homepage Journal
      You can filter out search terms using the hyphen (-) just like in a Google web search. Try this:
      http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=cheap+ipod+-ca se&hl=en&btnG=Search+Froogle [google.com]

      Want to get rid of the AC chargers too?
      http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=cheap+ipod+-ca se+-charger&hl=en&btnG=Search [google.com]
    • by Britz ( 170620 )
      Now people that can't even master such a simple task like using Froogle get modded up with their rants on Slashdot.

      You just click on a link list only a specific price range and then sort by prices.
      Did you really think you will get a serious (not ripoff) offer for an Ipod for under 50 bucks? Well, if you find it contact me, because I am not clicking through that stuff.
    • by joeljkp ( 254783 )
      I liked Froogle not so much because it found the cheapest of everything, but because it had a nicely integrated wish list feature. With a Froogle wish list, you don't have to worry about only being able to include things from, say, Amazon. You could put anything on there that could be found for sale online.

    • Not to mention all the Ebay items that come up instead of reputable vendors. Sometimes Ebay is what I want but mostly when I use Froogle I'm looking to retail vendors. I believe Ebay has its own search engine if I really wanted that.

      Also, whatever it is Google are up to it sounds confusing. Is it really going to make it easier to find products?
    • by Guppy06 ( 410832 )
      "Try searching it for cheap iPods. You gotta first sort through 30 or 40 pages of iPod cases...with no real way to remove 'em all."

      Doesn't eBay have a patent on that "feature?"
    • I feel that I have to whore out my computer price comparison site [comparecomponents.com]. It operates with a similar range of data to pricewatch but has a few differences. It is international (UK, US, Canada at the moment with more coming soon), and only deals with reputable shops (so the strange ones that pricewatch use quite often are not going to pollute the results with bait and switch tactics). The advanced search options allow filtering by Linux or Mac compatibility as well as windows, though this is still a work in progres
  • by HatchedEggs ( 1002127 ) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @03:59PM (#16177519) Homepage Journal
    At least for me. Whenever I tried to use it the results I got weren't that great at all. By searching a few other sites I was often able to find cheaper prices than those found on Froogle. I'm not sure what the reason for that was, but it just didn't seem to find me the best prices.

    Plus, on top of that it's search wasn't accurate enough. For instance, if I searched for "television" and "LCD" then it would throw in a bunch of peripheral items that I would then have to search through. Doing a search for that now seems to be a bit more accurate than last I checked though, perhaps they are making it more accurate.

    Either way, combining it with the regular search engine would be a great idea in my opinion. That'll make it more efficient to do searches.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Froogle was a good idea that was poorly executed. Searching for anything other than a specific product returned pages and pages of listings for the same item under slightly diffent names. I hope any integration of Froogle into the main index will include a better system for managing dupes than Froogle had.
    • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @04:17PM (#16177625) Homepage Journal
      Not to mention a huge conflict of interest. Froogle didn't directly get commissions if you looked at/bought something, but did sell contextual ads. So what should google do if the person who buys the advertisement has a slightly higher price than someone who came up on froogle. The ad buyer just wasted money so the other guy could get a sale. Not to mention it calls into question how accurate everything really is on froogle. I mean, do ad buyers get preference in the search results?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rm69990 ( 885744 )
        "The ad buyer just wasted money so the other guy could get a sale."

        Not if the consumer didn't click on the ad, and instead clicked on the lower price in the search results. Google only charges per click, not for just showing the ad.
    • by flooey ( 695860 )
      At least for me. Whenever I tried to use it the results I got weren't that great at all. By searching a few other sites I was often able to find cheaper prices than those found on Froogle. I'm not sure what the reason for that was, but it just didn't seem to find me the best prices.

      Plus, on top of that it's search wasn't accurate enough. For instance, if I searched for "television" and "LCD" then it would throw in a bunch of peripheral items that I would then have to search through. Doing a search for tha
      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        Good replies guys, that added a little more for me to think about. I hadn't thought of Google using their regular search algorithm in froogle, but that is almost exactly what seemed to be occuring. I certainly hope that they will refine that so that we can find results that are very relevant, instead of just "kinda sorta".

        Also, very interesting about Google advertising and conflict of interest in search returns that they had. There has to be a better way to do it. Perhaps to display exact pricing, but those
    • "Ranking will be determined by the attributes that the sellers listed for the product as well as by relevancy"

      He might as well have said, "Relevancy will be determined by the amount of relevancy told to us by the sellers, as well as by relevancy." Google's whole thing is pagerank, and I don't think they have come close to duplicating the success of that in anything except hyperlinked documents. Initiatives like this make me feel like Google is just throwing in their lot with all the others, but I guess we
  • This makes sense to me, honestly. Lets face it- Google wants to pull in more business. What's better then getting everyone's sales and stuff on the same search. If I, for instance, Search for 'Wool' and come up with sweaters for sale- as well as what I was looking for, maybe I'll buy a sweater along with my research on Wool. And No. I won't tell you why I want to search for wool.
  • This is wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gabrill ( 556503 ) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @04:13PM (#16177603)
    I already get a bunch of shopping links whenever I search information on products. I use Google less and less because I can't find information relevant to anything BUT shopping.
    • Re:This is wrong. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @04:39PM (#16177733)
      I wholeheartedly agree. I think the balance has been tipped on Google some time ago. I find it very difficult to search for anything on Google without including a whole bunch of qualifiers like -amazon, -ebay, -checkout, -shopping, etc...

      Having said that, in principle I do like the idea of Google promoting Base. This World desperately and urgently needs a strong eBay competitor, and a Cragslist competitor too for that matter. (Craigslist being the nouveau chic site de jour for spammers and scammers - and that's one org that's letting them all win hands down. Since their staff don't review listings, Craigslist even has a neat way of spammers find out their marketing penetration using the report spam button on the listings - you can figure out how many folk saw your ad by how long it stays up - yay! a free gift to all spammers! Seriously, why wouldn't you want to spam on Craigslist!!!?).

      What would be great though is if Google could allow users to choose to avoid Base if they wished - in the way they could with Froogle. If I want information from the web, I rarely want to buy it. If I want to buy something from the web, I know where to look. There's rarely any overlap. I doubt I am alone in that.

      Or, if any smart person would happen to know of, or would like to develop a Firefox extension to filter out shopping sites in search, I for one would be eternally grateful.
      • by Gabrill ( 556503 )
        Perfect. We could download the public filter keys the same way we do spam i.p. lists and virus definitions. *joke*
        • by funfail ( 970288 )
          You are joking but if Google allowed me to filter out a list of hostnames that *I* choose, I would be happier.

          It can even be persistent as I already logged into my google/gmail account.
      • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )
        Yeah, personally I prefer my search engines separate and targeted. If I wanted a jack-of-all-trades search, I'd look elsewhere. If I'm shopping, I'll use Froogle. If I'm researching, Google. I used to tell people that if I couldn't find what I was looking for within an hour or two, it's probably not on the Internet. I think I'll have to revise that to a day or two just because of all the product pricing crap that will now show up in my search results.

        Google has more than enough money. They can live wi
    • Re:This is wrong. (Score:5, Informative)

      by moreati ( 119629 ) <alex@moreati.org.uk> on Sunday September 24, 2006 @04:42PM (#16177763) Homepage
      This seems a good time to mention http://www.givemebackmygoogle.com/ [givemebackmygoogle.com] as featured in the b3ta newsletter recently. It filters the majority of shopping comparison sites from a google search, it's not perfect but it makes a big difference.
  • by merc ( 115854 ) <slashdot@upt.org> on Sunday September 24, 2006 @04:29PM (#16177677) Homepage
    just don't touch fark's foobies
  • Making money (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slashkitty ( 21637 ) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @04:42PM (#16177771) Homepage
    "Google has no plans to monetise this product-search capability" Wrong, Google makes money when people buy things with the google checkout. They are creating a whole "buy it now" ebay type site with a single checkout. Fees are lower than paypal, and the checkout process is quick and easy. Google even gives you an anonymized email address during the checkout for each store. If only enough vendors would jump onboard, the site could really rock.
    • by profet ( 263203 )
      Yeah its great, until you want to accept international orders.

      The other big thing is that it does not support any type of automated voiding of orders.

      Oh, not to mention the fact that it lacks any kind of integration points common with other payment API's (PayPal, Verisign...).

      Plus, you can't integrate it with other google products like Google Analytics or Adwords. Since the user is not directed back to a congratulations page, you have no way to notify statistics applications of a succesful checkout.

      Thanks,
  • Branding Mistake (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MSTCrow5429 ( 642744 ) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @04:53PM (#16177865)
    After blowing cash on the Froogle brand, which nicely derives cachet from the Google brand while also implying that it is for frugual users, thereby it must save users money, to then run to a product called "Google Base" is stupidity. What does the "Base" mean? It has zero positive associations with shopping and price, and except for its association under the Google umbrella, zero assocation with anything else. Google has to grow up and stop change for the sake of change, when it wastes shareholder's money and ditches valuable brands for senseless no-brands.
    • by retrosteve ( 77918 ) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @05:13PM (#16178011) Homepage Journal
      It means all your Base are belong to Google, of course! /How are you Gentlemen? //you are on the way to destruction. ///Wait, this isn't Fark?
    • I don't believe that Google is going to eliminate the Froogle brand. I agree Google Base is a horrible name, in which has no meaning at least to an average user. Perhaps monetization of Froogle and Base into Google will be interest on Google's initial brand investment. As far as I know Froogle is not very popular at the moment.
    • You are absolutely right, MSTCrow5429. The Froogle brand has a lot more meaning than Google Base. They should fix Froogle and keep the name. They just have to figure out how to differentiate the products in some other way than by title alone, so that iPod cases are not lumped with iPods, etc. (to use an example in a previous post). What about using the product's UPC (currently EAN/UCC-13 code). Hey -- that's a great idea. If I only worked at Google, that would probably get me another $2M in stock opti
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by skids ( 119237 )

      "Base" as in DataBase. It's supposedly not just for shopping, but also for content hosting.
  • Very old news (Score:3, Informative)

    by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @05:11PM (#16177995)
    This is very old news. Those of us who have been using Froogle were notified about this transition about 6 months ago via email. Ho hum.
  • Which holiday season? We've just had summer. Is it Christmas already?
  • Google seems to be overextending itself recently. Honestly, I'm all for Google, but it seems that Google has too many projects going on and, sadly to say it, it seems like this will be a flop for Froogle.
  • Maybe I am not using google base properly, but I find its navigation system awful. On the google base homepage for instance, there is no search box. Just a bunch of recomended search catagories. The first time I looked at the page I thought that those were all of the catagories available since there was no search box. However it seems that when you reload the page the categories refresh to something new. Now sure, I could go and mess with the URL untill I find the search I want, but how easy is that.

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