Is that headline joke old yet? Just in time for the holiday season, Google plans to extend its product search capabilities by helping users refine their product queries with a second search box. Refined queries will lead users to product listings on Google Base, which Google will promote over its old shopping service, Froogle, according to PC Advisor.
Ranking in the results will be determined by the attributes sellers listed for the product as well as the product's attributes. There are no plans to display ads or charge listing fees yet.
Danny at Search Engine Watch explains that Google has been de-emphasizing Froogle for several months. The Froogle submission system disappeared in June and was replaced by submission to Google Base. Google also recently redesigned Google Base to make it more user-friendly. The search box on Google Base disappeared too, implying further that Google considers the app to be a centralized storage location, not a high-traffic, directly searchable interface.
SEO experts are apparently less-than-enthused about the upcoming change to Google's search results. One user of the WebmasterWorld forums griped that it makes it difficult to build an SEO strategy for the holidays when Google changes its algorithms. Another user complained that his workload would increase, and he would have to not only do traditional SEO but also upload items to Google Base.
One user was excited about the feature, noting that Google's promotion of Google Base was "a way to get 'fresh' listings in the index vs. trying to compete against 5-year-old .edu and .gov sites and wikipedia on every SERP [search engine results page]."