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.
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.