Google Shares Spotlight With Froogle

Tina Reilly
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Word out of Silicon Valley this week from Google Inc. is that its search interface has been updated in an attempt to give advertisers more consolidated paid search exposure.

The search technology team at Google have now added Froogle's search results to Google.com searches whenever keywords indicate that the user is looking for products or services to purchase.

Froogle is a shopping search feature that Google launched last year in beta version, and the search giant is reportedly looking to not only take Froogle to the forefront of its search page, but to also create a more powerful, search-responsive format for advertisers and users.

At the time of Froogle's launch in December, 2002, Google said that its intention was to create a search function that focused entirely on locating stores that sell specific items and to enhance the overall search function of Google.com.

According to industry watchers, the changes Google has made to Froogle will be executed in a similar way to its traffic strategy for Google News, a customized news service the search engine launched last month. In Froogle's case, product search links include a product description, a price, and the name of the store.

Typically, the product links that appear at the top of Google.com search results are the top three free listing results on the Froogle search. Google's AdWords appears on the right hand side of Froogle.com results, just as it does on the main Google.com site.

Under the company's new changes, when a user now searches for a commercial product, Google will pull information from Froogle and place it above the main listings on the results page.

The AdWords interface has also been updated and now offers new reporting on keyword performance, a cleaner, more user-friendly design for the billing summary, and auto-optimization, a feature that shows more relevant results more often.

Industry analysts are saying that the reason for the changes is to keep in step with search engine rival Overture, which has been hailed by advertisers as offering a more organized vehicle for paid search results.

Google also claims to have corrected problems with Froogle's price sort function.