Over the past few days, blogs and the news media has been buzzing with reports (started by Robert Peck at Bear Stearns) that Froogle is being de-emphasized as Google begins to implement shopping listings into its main index. I read the coverage with interest – it’s rare that Google actually admits defeat in any category, preferring instead to let the pasta drip off the wall on its own, so to speak. So I sent an email to folks in corporate communications, and here’s what I got back:
Me: Over the past few days, a Marketwatch story and coverage of recent news about integration of shopping features into the main index has stirred up speculation that Froogle’s days are numbered. Are they?
G: Froogle is alive and well. We are continuing to integrate shopping and product search features into Google.com to make it as easy as possible for users to find product information through Google. We don’t have any more specifics to share publicly on how this will look down the line but we will make sure to let you know about any developments.
Now, you might read this as having it both ways – but that’s to be expected, I’d warrant. Froogle isn’t dead, but that doesn’t mean Google won’t leverage Google.com (and Google Base) to make shopping search more profitable and more useful for consumers….
(also see Read/Write on this issue….)