free html hit counter Froogle's Product Reviews - John Battelle's Search Blog

Froogle's Product Reviews

By - December 17, 2004

FrooglereviewsAs many have noted, Froogle has begun to aggregate snippets of product reviews from the web at large. This marks the Google News-ification of Froogle. When will the service jump the shark and start making money on vigs from sales? Or will it? Will publishers like Cnet revolt? Wait, here’s Cnet coverage…

The service, which is similar to the company’s aggregated site for news around the Web, highlights Google’s ambition to bring more content to its own site with the use of its “spidering” technology.

Huh. “Bring more content.” That’s an interesting way to put it. Indeed.

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5 thoughts on “Froogle's Product Reviews

  1. Meredyth Masterson says:

    I was wondering if you had any information on the number of visitors your site recieves per month. I can be reached via e-mail or at (415)318-4046

  2. I’d like to again mention the CommerceNet white paper on leveraging product codes for Internet commerce; as product codes become more useful as unique identifiers, I think we’ll see a shift from “search” to a more automated “find” model for access to information about things, both from “the horse’s mouth” (e.g., Panasonic’s own description, technical specs, etc., for its DVD player) and from 3rd parties (e.g., one could access via a web services API, using the product’s UPC as the key).

    This latter is aspect is particularly intriguing, as then anyone could get into the business of creating review content, say, and syndicating it, letting markets drive bad (i.e., inaccurate) reviews out of the market, and rewarding those who write good ones.

    And we should also expect to see retailers able to publish availability… one could announce willingness to sell an item by pushing (e.g., to shopping aggregators, or, alternatively, they could do the pulling) pairs of (item/price), where “item” is that canonical product code. Coupled with the store’s geocoordinates, that would allow for a highly automated, “Where can I get this thing most readily/cheaply/quickly?”

  3. I wonder if that’s the first time in recorded history someone has equated turning a profit with jumping the shark.

    I like the idea of the reviews. That’s surely what the web can offer that the offline world could not – context.

    So all in all I can’t say I agree with the sceptical assessment on this one. (“Vigs”?)

  4. Allow me to – as ever – clarify. I meant jumping their own shark, really, as Google has been pretty adamant about not taking money for directly selling stuff. In other words, I sense they think *they* would be jumping the shark if they did it. Sigh. I really need to be more specific. But I’m often not. Sorry to all.

  5. sean says:

    I have been collecting review resources and other comparison shopping tools at the category level, due in part to being slightly less technical than Google. Yet if Froogle can keep innovating at the lower levels, it would be fun to watch and it could have huge implications.