Google's Overblown Froogle Controversy

from the what-really-happened... dept

It looks like some folks are making a big deal out of the fact that Google searches on certain terms put links to the Froogle comparison shopping engine at the top of the results list. It’s unclear why this is suddenly an issue – as they’ve been doing this ever since they relaunched their site a few months ago. The links are pretty clearly separate from the actual search results (though, not as separate as the regular ads) and are mostly designed to take a guess at whether or not the user meant to search in Froogle. They do the same thing with Google News. If the search term recently appeared in a news story, they’ll throw the Google News link at the top as well. This seems more helpful than “evil” as the article suggests. Update: As explained in the comments the issue is actually that the Froogle results show up in the Google ads superseding paid-for ads. Of course, if the Froogle group within Google is paying for ads to the Google ad group, then it would be perfectly reasonable.

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Comments on “Google's Overblown Froogle Controversy”

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Jeremiah (user link) says:

No Subject Given

I actually sent an email to Google about this. In their reply, the person (Kathy?) said that their goal was to provide a rounded response to product inquiries, and that providing a link to a story about a product could aid in the decision-making process of the consumer.

Put simply, if you search Froogle for a Philips HDTV, Google will theoretically return any recent news stories about the model you’re looking at, i.e. a current recall or something.

Personally, i’d like to see Google add a sidebar of blog-based reviews of products I search for in Froogle. I can make my own determination regarding the individual bloggers – it would still be nice to see “real world” reviews next to product listings.

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

What's the deal with the sactity of Google?

(Note: The following rant is not pointed at any one person in particular, so please don’t respond as if the “you” I refer to is supposed to be you)

Why is that everything that Google does gets so highly scrutinized for “hidden, secret, evil” content?

Last I checked, Google is not your tax-funded, local public library, responsible to the community for providing you with information free from commercial messages.

Last I checked, unless you’re paying them for advertising, you’re not giving any money to Google, yet they are providing you with a service – a service that costs them money.

If Google wants to display pornographic images in response to every search request you submit, that’s their right!

It’s because of tinfoil-hat-wearing, conspiracy-behind-everything mentalities that California actually is trying to outlaw GMail before it even gets rolled out – because it *might* be evil.

Give it a rest. Google owes you nothing! If you want to start sending Google $1 for each and every search you perform, then you can bitch about what Google chooses to do, otherwise STFU.

Sorry, Mike… I had to get that out of my system.

Brad Hill (user link) says:

Google promoting Froogle

You don’t understand. It’s not that Google is placing Froogle search results above the natural listings on certain result pages. It’s that Google is placing AdWords ads for Froogle in the top advertising slot, above AdWords customers whose bidding would otherwise entitle them to the top ad slot. Google has never done that before, and that’s the source of the controversy. I blogged about this the other day, here–

Brad Hill

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