Shopping with Froogle
Surviving intelligent shopping agents look out: Google’s coming.
The search engine’s punny new shopping service, Froogle, is typical of Google products in that it is quick, simple, effective, and impartial. In a quick test, I did have trouble locating products based on their geographic location (despite it’s Amazon-esque tagline: “All the world’s products in one place”). Granted, Froogle is in beta and I already like it more than other such services.
More from the lab
Two other services the company’s testing:
The former is technically impressive, but as an effective search interface, it suffers from too much “whiz-bang.” Google is good, in part, because it’s so simple. The latter experiment, though, is amazing.
WebQuotes combines Google’s rankings with user opinions to create an incredible reputation manager. Think Googlism writ large.
For popular sites, WebQuotes works quite well—less popular ones have either no quotes, or ones drawn from directory listings. These quotes, I’m guessing, are chosen using the same algorithms that select the search results, i.e., “reputable” sites are used as a quote’s source.
If this early test works, WebQuotes can easily be combined into the basic service’s result, either by pointing to it beside the “Similar pages” link in the results (or a WebQuotes option could be added to the preferences).
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Google’s willingness to publicly experiment can only improve its own reputation.