A blogger discovered an apparent working prototype of a new product search tool that will replace Froogle and provide a radically new interface for Google Base.
The new tool, discovered by Garett Rogers, offers a series of refinement boxes for search queries including brand, condition, gender, and price. The results page also offers three formats to choose from: List View, Grid View, and Map View.
When you hover over a result in Grid View, the result is magnified.
Using the product today reveals mixed results. The first result for the ever-popular iPod, for example, returns this page -- a MySpace profile that apparently originates in New Jersey.
Google first hinted at the product in September at a PESA (Professional eBay Sellers Alliance) summit. At that time, Search Engine Watch's Danny Sullivan said Google has been deemphasizing their traditional product search tool, Froogle, for some time.
The new product results page may also be part of an internal initiative at Google called "Features Not Products." Google co-founder Sergey Brin said during the company's Q3 analyst call that "there are increasingly many ways that we are integrating together all of our search offerings so you don't have to pick where you're going to search first."
Thus it could be the case that the new product search tool will be activated not by navigating to a specific search vertical, but simply by entering a product name into the main Google search box. Google has been integrating Google Base items into the main Google search results for some time.