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Google Product Search replaces Video on the home page

For over a year now, "Video" has been one of the choices Google has offered on its very spare home page along with other popular search services like "Images", "News", and "Maps" etc.

Well, I just took a look on my spanking brand new MacBook and "Video" is gone as a home page choice.

It’s been replaced with a button called "Products."

If you google "Google Products" what you come up with are lists of the all the software products that Google makes available above and beyond their search results (ex. gmail, Google Earth)

A very quick search on Google itself turned up nothing about this new initiative.

So what is it exactly?

First, "Products" is shorthand for "Google Product Search" and like all things Google it’s in "beta."

Second, it is a very slick, lightening fast search engine for…products. You name it and it appears Google has got it. Think UBER-catalog.

Not only that, but it appears Google has made is dead simple to shop across multiple online catalogs with a service called Google "Shopping List."

The experience ends, of course, with a visit to Google "Checkout."

Do you selling physical "stuff?" You need to get on this…like now.

By the way, Google’s catchphrase for the service is "search for stuff to buy." Talk about cutting to the chase. I have a feeling this is going to be huge. There’s got to be a cold chill going through the folks at Yahoo Stores and even eBay right now.

Here’s what the page looks like: Google Product Search

Here’s in the info page for sellers: Sell with Google

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  1. Jeff
    November 29th, 2007 at 00:46 | #1

    It appears that what was Froogle is now Google Product Search

  2. November 29th, 2007 at 00:48 | #2

    Hey Ken,
    Thanks for the heads up.
    This is a biggie.
    Google’s found yet another
    way to make life simpler
    for the consumer and more
    “interesting” for the
    Talk about an online portal…
    this could be amazing!
    Rich Davey

  3. November 29th, 2007 at 01:04 | #3

    When I opened your email. I went directly to Google myself and WOW. There it was. Products. What a wonderful idea.
    Google has no doubt merged their video search into their Web search. I’ve known this for a few months now, because my Web videos and my client Web videos started coming up in generic “Web” searches not just “video” searches.
    What a great time to be alive and have a business on the Web.
    You know what is next right? Services. Where will they go from there? Phone Services?
    You are right Ken, they have a big empty space on their site.
    Hang on. This is gonna be fun.
    Vince Jackson

  4. Ramesh Ramakrishnan
    November 29th, 2007 at 01:32 | #4

    Hi Ken,
    this is just a new name that Google has coined for it’s erstwhile service – Froogle. Froogle has been around for quite some time, and a lot of people do use the service to search for best pricing across the web.

  5. Ken McCarthy
    November 29th, 2007 at 02:17 | #5

    They’ve definitely come up with a better name and presentation for it.
    Thanks for this reminder of Froogle. I did some digging and apparently the original Froogle name and interface was performing so badly they pulled it off the home page and replaced it with the “Video” link.
    The renaming and reconfiguration took place several months ago. The replacement of “Video” by the new and improved version is recent.
    Just goes to show you, even Google can get it wrong. Apparently “cute” doesn’t work as well as clear.

  6. November 29th, 2007 at 02:32 | #6

    Hi Ken
    Great post….I left the below comment on my blog. I tried to send a trackback but it looks like you have them turned off, so….I copied and pasted my post below…thanks again!!!
    I was reading Ken McCarty’s blog post about Googles new Product Search. You can find it here….Google Product Search.
    Once again, Google will control and change the game. I checked out the product search page for a few items that my wife sells on one of her websites. I know we were on page 1 and #1 position for these items yet I found them nowhere on Googles new Product Search page. I changed terms and searched for about 2 hours. I must have clicked about 200 links on the New Product Search Page …. still I couldn’t find our proudct. I did notice each of the products offered some sort of cart system and I also made sure I searched “showing all items” and not “show Google Checkout items only”
    How does one get on the New Google Product Search result?
    I’ll have to do some research, although I did stumble on the last line at the bottom of the page
    “Google does not charge for inclusion in its search results or accept payment for better placement. To list your items in Google Product Search, upload your product catalog.”
    I checked out the page and it appears as though you must submit your products to google and then there’s an indication that there’s a need for optimizing your site properly.
    This is straight from the Google Page:
    Sell with Google
    Got something to sell? We can help make it happen — for free. Then, use Google Checkout to process your online sales.
    1. Submit your items
    Reach more shoppers by submitting information about your products to Google Base so they’ll be found on Google Product Search. You can link directly from our search results to your website; if you don’t have one, we’ll host your offers for free. Depending on how many items you have, you can choose to submit your products one at a time or all at once using a bulk upload under our “Products” item type.
    Further on down the page there appears to be an option to Process your orders with Google Checkout.
    Again…straight from the Google Products Page:
    3. Process your sales with Google Checkout
    Use Google Checkout to charge your customers’ credit cards, process their orders, and receive payment in your bank account. Even better, you pay no fees on sales that you process through Google Checkout. It’s free until 2008
    Did you notice Google Checkout is FREE until 2008 … I’ve kinda lost track of time, this is 2007 isn’t it? 🙂
    Well…looks really intersting and I can’t wait to see the gurus come out with ebook, course and video on the new “Google Products Feature” LOL
    Thanks Ken for the heads up!

  7. November 29th, 2007 at 02:34 | #7

    Ken, thanks for that. Amazing. Google rule the online world. From search to adwords to products to checkout! I’ll be thinking hard how to ride on that one, Ken.

  8. November 29th, 2007 at 02:36 | #8

    Hello Ken,
    You have seen nothing yet…
    I went to the google page as soon as I read your post and my http://www.google.com is automatically redirected to igoogle with the choice to open “classic home”, which opens the normal google page.
    Anybody else getting that?

  9. Derek Fisher
    November 29th, 2007 at 02:47 | #9

    You Yanks make me laugh!
    Here in the UK we have had the products tab on Google.co.uk way back in April 07 when Froogle disappeared from the homepage. Seems they were testing the water in other markets before they made the change or the land of the free. So welcome aboard.

  10. November 29th, 2007 at 02:47 | #10

    What’s up ken,
    Thanks for the heads up, some how your post inspired me to make this list, that’s really all I can tell other than it wasted an hour of my time
    Top Ten Google Image Mistakes

  11. Jason S.
    November 29th, 2007 at 09:54 | #11

    I wonder if Google will integrate this feature into sites that utilize the recurring billing model?

  12. November 29th, 2007 at 10:06 | #12

    Hi Ken,
    Thanks for the tip and links- very thoughtful of you!
    What do you think of google’s CPA attempte? any experience with it?

  13. November 29th, 2007 at 10:14 | #13

    Regarding the google CPA- what I mean is their pay per sale or per lead program. anyone making money from this? I’ve integrated some rotating ads from their cpa into a new site of mine (www.Photo-Facelift.com) but haven’t seen yet any money from them. would be cool if they offered a widget/s like amazone has and eliminate the need to keep updating expired campaigns like is necessary from all CPA marketplaces.
    what about refunds issue? Ken, would you know about this?
    From advertiser aspect- is it a good way to get free ads into google system?

  14. Ken McCarthy
    November 29th, 2007 at 10:59 | #14

    I haven’t tried it personally or heard much about Google’s CPA initiatives. It’s going to be a little more complicated than just selling clicks so it will probably take them longer to figure out how to make it work.
    On the other hand, if they find a way to leverage the strong credibility they’ve established, they might find that they’re able to convert way more people than the average CPA promoter.
    My guess is they’ll figure out a CPA model that works too.
    These things take time. They were in business for several years before they came up with their first clue how to monetize traffic at all…but eventually they figure it out.

  15. November 29th, 2007 at 12:42 | #15

    Yeah, this is just Froogle under a new name. It’s been around for years. It is not anything that will scare eBay or Yahoo stores. There are actually systems in place specifically for eBay store owners to add their items to google base, which pulls them into this search. It is nice that it’s on the main page, but froogle used to be as well. Nothing has really changed other than the name of the search.

  16. November 29th, 2007 at 14:05 | #16

    Hi Ken, yes we have seen this in the UK for a while now; but to be honest with you I did not really take special notice of it. This is due to the fact that I have lost track of all the Google initiatives. For me, they just seem too many to catch-up with as I don’t need all of them. However, with a new jewelry site that I manage, the PoshWoman, I guess it will be ideal and great to list our products there.
    Btw, Peter (Peter – Software Marketing Secrets), yes I sometimes do that. iGoogle and the classic homepage give you different subcategories and “Video” is still maintained in iGoogle as against “Products” in the Classic Home.

  17. Aaron
    November 29th, 2007 at 14:17 | #17

    I don’t think this is a problem for the folks at Ebay, on the contrary, many of their listings show up regularly in Products search. As long as the listings are optimized for the keywords that are searched on, the listings themselves would be indexed. And regarding Google Checkout, well it is probably about time that Ebay start accepting Google Checkout. Competition never hurts the consumer.

  18. November 29th, 2007 at 15:02 | #18

    Funny you should mention this. We were just adding this to our “Vertical Market Intelligence” screen as a new source of data to help folks determine the “product price range” in a theme or category. When you cross reference this with how many products have actually sold on e-bay you get a pretty good idea if the product is a “trading up” market” or a drop-ship market.

  19. GlowPaint
    November 29th, 2007 at 15:33 | #19

    I love Google
    Google loves websites and their owners who know SEO…
    So from the comments above, Is this new old idea worth using. Is the Google fees better than Paypal and ebay?
    If I was thinking about selling my products on ebay, would it be just as good, or better to use Google Products?
    Does anyone know how many individuals and businesses used froogle or will use this new product?
    Trying to understand the benefits of all of Googles offerings, can get overwhelming.
    Thanks in advance for any information supplied

  20. November 29th, 2007 at 18:52 | #20

    Hi Ken,
    I really appreciate your note about the Google products change. It made me go take a look and below is what I found out for Yahoo! store owners.
    If you are a Yahoo! store owner, and have this feature enabled on the back-end of your store under “Search Engines”, then Yahoo! will automatically send your ‘catalog’ to Google products whenever you re-publish your store.
    So whenever you add new products to the store, or change existing ones, Yahoo forwards an XML file of all of your products to Google.
    Pretty nifty bonus for Yahoo store owners.
    Thanks again Ken,
    Juile R. Bechthold
    Great Eagle Tech
    GPS Systems at Great Prices and FREE SHIPPING!

  21. November 29th, 2007 at 19:32 | #21

    Hi Ken,
    It will be interesting to see what Google does with this. Currently you can optimize your eBay store and listings descriptions to get them better search engine indexing (on all search engines, not just Google). In fact, many eBay sellers see a considerable percentage of their traffic coming in from the search engines – which means buyers are starting at SE’s first anyway (rather than going through eBay’s search engine.) But the sale is going through PayPal.
    So it will be interesting to see if Google is heading in the direction of building a comparison shopping site with Google checkout or if there are plans to build an entire ecommerce marketplace integrated with Google checkout.

  22. GlowPaint
    December 1st, 2007 at 15:03 | #22

    Hi Ken
    Not available in Australia yet. I hope it don’t take to long. By what i can see it’s only available in the US and UK.
    Have fun
    Paul H

  23. Ken McCarthy
    December 2nd, 2007 at 01:08 | #23

    The new Google Product Search is indeed based on Froogle.
    Froogle was very weak for a variety of reasons which is why Google took it off the home page. That it’s back and much improved is significant.
    As one poster pointed out, many people already start their product searches using regular Google, and eBay and Yahoo stores listings often home up high in the rankings – for now.
    Do you really think that’s going to continue once Google gets serious about its Product Search service? Also, when Froogle was launched there was no Google Checkout. BIG difference.
    Am I the only one who sees where this is headed?
    Google’s already got the search traffic, right? And it monetizes it with AdWords. Coming up with new monetization methods has not proven to be easy, but monetize they must if they’re going to keep growing (something they have to do just to survive.)
    So where is this new revenue going to come from?
    In it’s typical (r)evolutionary way, Google’s going to continue to develop Product Search to the point that instead of pointing people to eBay, they’re going to point them to products listed on Google instead.
    Google is after the check out money. That’s the holy grail here. A piece of every online sale that takes place as a result of a Google search.
    Right now Google is “leaking” that revenue away to eBay and PayPal. Anyone who thinks that Google is going to cooperate with eBay by accepting PayPal hasn’t been paying attention. “Coopetition” is not the name of the game in the real world. Not when the stakes are this high and one party thinks it can triumph over the other.
    Look, eBay is huge and has huge momentum. Google is not going to eliminate eBay, but it is going to continuously nibble at its flank.
    Revenue-wise,it’s a one way street because eBay has no way to take customers from Google. Very bad for eBay because for a company its size, it’s either grow or die.
    eBay has run out of new tricks and a deadly serious competitor is eying its turf. Bad news all around for eBay.
    Since January 2005, Google’s value as a company has gone to the moon. eBay’s has been stagnant.
    This chart makes what’s happening clear.
    I repeat: I’d hate to be eBay when Google achieves its goal of closing the search-to-sale loop.

  24. December 22nd, 2007 at 12:38 | #24

    Interesting it seems like the FROOGLE business is getting in the right direction now for Google Team. Good for them!
    Ebay really needs a competitor on its size!
    Maurice V

  25. omegaswitch
    June 27th, 2008 at 10:03 | #25

    Hi Ken,
    What is your personal opinion on unsolicited email (e.g. spam)? Do you think it is ethically sound and a good business practice for companies to send spam if it helps them reach their target audience?
    Looking forward to your reply,