Whither Froogle?

Froogle
As most people know by now, Google removed Froogle from the set of links over the search box and replaced it with Video. Froogle has been relegated to “more.” Hitwise’s Bill Tancer literally charts the immediate impact of the change on the relative fortunes of Google Video and Froogle — Froogle’s traffic dropped, Video’s gained.

In May Hitwise compared the relative usage of various Google properties (share of overall Google traffic):

Google Properties Table.PNG

What this distribution shows is that Froogle had slightly more traffic than Video at the time. But Google has obviously made the strategic decision that Video is more important than shopping (even at a time when it’s trying to promote related product Checkout and has just implemented local, offline shopping).

Yet, I understand on one level. Given that Froogle isn’t really a source of revenue for Google (and that it’s in 7th or 8th overall position) and that Video is increasingly strategically important, the decision makes a certain amount of sense.

Does this reflect that Froogle is being cast adrift? Google would probably deny that. After all, Froogle results appear in Google SERPs when products are keywords. (However, I just did three searches for “iPOD,” “digital camera” and “outdoor furniture” and there were no Froogle results).

The practical effect of this change is to reduce Froogle’s exposure. Google could own shopping if it did several simple things and promoted the vertical. But right now at least it seems to have decided to walk away from Froogle in favor of other things. Again, I’m sure Google would say it’s not walking away.

But it sure looks that way.

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Related: On the new Google (YouTube-like) Video interface and (potential) Google Porn from TechCrunch.

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2 Responses to “Whither Froogle?”

  1. Screenwerk » Blog Archive » Google Checkout and Customer Ownership Says:

    [...] Checkout was briefly featured on Google’s homepage (maybe for 24 – 36 hours). To its credit (so to speak) Google is currently offering $10 off on back-to-school purchases of $30 or more as a consumer incentive to use the system. That’s a nice discount. Yet Checkout remains buried unless you’re specifically looking for it. And we saw what happened to Froogle when Google took it off the homepage.  [...]

  2. Son of Froogle: Google « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] Many have been blogging about screenshots (first discovered by Garrett Rogers) that reveal the likely replacement for Froogle, which was pulled from the links above the Google search box, is a more product-savvy Google itself. [...]

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