Friday, September 22, 2006

R.I.P. Froogle?

Google apparently has decided to retire its metashopping search, Froogle. From an article by Ben Charny at Marketwatch:
Google intends to "de-emphasize" its own Froogle shopping search engine, a Web site featuring paid listings from eBay and other online retailers. Google intends for Froogle to no longer be a standalone Web site; instead its listings would be absorbed by other search features, [analyst Robert] Peck wrote.
That is sad. I have always liked Froogle and had high hopes for it ([1] [2] [3] [4]), but it has been woefully lacking in attention in the last year or two. Even so, I am surprised Google is deciding to shut Froogle down rather than improve it.

There are several other comparison shopping sites available, including Shopzilla, Shopping.com, PriceGrabber, Smarter.com, and mySimon.

[Found via Paul Kedrosky]

Update: John Battelle pings Google PR and gets the response that "Froogle is alive and well." This may be a denial that Froogle is going to be shut down, but it also could be semantic games with the present versus future tense. Hard to tell.

4 comments:

RobotsThink said...

it will be really strange if GooGle delists froogle. Why r they not improving it ?
may be the business prospects or is it the technical glitches ...?

is it the first thing GooGle will pull down from its services ?

Anonymous said...

I find two ways to interpret this:

One, that Froogle was a pet project of a group of engineers who have since found something more interesting to work on. It seems to be a pattern of Google's to leave stuff in "beta" indefinitely (see gmail) which may be an unfortunate tradeoff from their minimal-management structure.

Two, they have something much bigger in terms of ecommerce up their sleeves.

Time will tell.

James V Reagan said...

I'm not sure Marketwatch is interpreting the distinction between Froogle and Google Base right.

Google Base is Google's "upload" tool; as part of their strategy people will upload all sorts of content via Base.

Froogle is a comparison shopping engine portal. It's meant to be a customer facing search tool. People will not search via Google Base; they will search via Google or Froogle.

Back in the June timeframe, Google changed their Froogle upload to upload via Google Base instead. (WebStore by Amazon integrates with Froogle, and our contacts at Froogle were very open about the direction Froogle and Google Base were going, which helped us architect an integration that would migrate easily).

I think the question is whether Froogle as a search portal is going away. As another poster suggests, this could be part of a bigger e-com play.

Anonymous said...

I am not a computer geek but I like to froogle thru google-not confusing at all-hope they keepit-what about google earth? I really liked that too.