I orginally wrote this as a comment on a TechCrunch post, but realized that there were a few more things I wanted to riff about.
If you didn’t realize it, Google removed the Froogle link from their front page and replaced it with Google Video. While some people are making a big deal of it, I really think this move is related to the YouTube phenomenon and also the fact that most product searches start at the search engine and not necessarily at a supposed shopping search engine.
Three points to consider:
1)Froogle listings are still showing up at the top of SERPS. Panasonic Video Camera, Scandinavian Office Chair, and half carat diamond ring. (I have expensive tastes.) I don’t know if this matters, but I was logged into Google when I saw these results.
2)If you’re a retailer and you are listed in Froogle, then you will see referrers from Froogle, as long as your price point is a)reasonable and b)reasonably low. In my experience, despite the Froogle listings, I still have seen many, many more referrers from Google’s natural search than Froogle. As any online retailer knows, competing on price point alone is an [expletive deleted].
3)Natural search still rules product referrers. Wasn’t Battelle who said that 60% of all e-commerce transactions start at the search engine?
Over the past year and half or so, I’ve thought that Google was going to push retailers and such from natural search to paid Froogle inclusion or Google Base or Google AdWords, now with Froogle getting off of the front page links, I’m wondering if this isn’t Google tacitly acknowledging that there’s much more e-commerce traffic in natural search. And if there’s traffic in natural search then shouldn’t Google’s corporate push be towards Google AdWords and Google Base, not to mention Google Checkout?
Also, pertaining to Google products in trouble, is it just me or am I just not seeing result for products in Google Base in Google SERPS?