Google Moves into Product Reviews

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-12-16 Print this article Print

The search company tests the addition of product reviews and ratings to its Froogle service by organizing information from Web review sites.

Google Inc. is combining online reviews into its Froogle shopping-search service, but rather than eliciting new opinions it is aggregating reviews and ratings from around the Web. The Mountain View, Calif., company announced on Wednesday a beta of Froogle Product Reviews, which so far is limited to electronics products such as MP3 players and computers.
Google also recently rolled out a feature within Froogle that is common on online shopping sites—the ability for users to store shopping lists and wish lists. By creating a log-in, users can add products found from searches onto their lists and make the wish lists accessible to friends and family, Google announced.
What about e-commerce leaders? Click here to read more about Amazon.coms search efforts. Googles step into product reviews and lists comes during the height of the holiday shopping season. In March, Google made Froogle more prominent when it added it as a search tab on its home page. In a statement, a Google spokesperson said that the product reviews will help users "make more informed decisions about what to buy." With the product reviews, Google is displaying links showing the average ratings and the number of available reviews below the images of products in its Froogle results page. The links take users to a page with excerpts and links to the reviews for an undisclosed number of product-review sites. Users can search by keyword within the reviews and group them by their source. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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