Google Shopping

Google Shopping,[2] formerly Google Product Search, Google Products and Froogle, is a Google service invented by Craig Nevill-Manning which allows users to search for products on online shopping websites and compare prices between different vendors.

Originally, the service listed prices submitted by merchants, and was monetized through AdWords advertising like other Google services. However, in May 2012, Google announced that the service (which was also immediately renamed Google Shopping) would shift in late-2012 to a paid model where merchants would have to pay the company in order to list their products on the service.[2][3]

In June 2017, Google Shopping was fined a record €2.4 billion by the EU Commission for giving its own online shopping services top priority in search results.[4]

Google Shopping
Initial releaseDecember 12, 2002 (as Froogle)[1]
Operating systemAny (web-based application)
TypePrice comparison


Created by Craig Nevill-Manning[5] and launched in December 2002, Froogle was different from most other price comparison services in that it used Google's web crawler to index product data from the websites of vendors instead of using paid submissions. As with Google Search, Froogle was instead monetized using Google's AdWords keyword advertising platform.[6][7]

With its re-branding as Google Product Search, the service was modified to emphasize integration with Google Search; listings from the service could now appear alongside web search results.[8]

Google prominently featured the service result in Google Search starting in January 2008 in Germany and the United Kingdom. It subsequently extended the practice to France in October 2010, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain in May 2011, the Czech Republic in February 2013 and Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Poland and Sweden in November 2013.[4]

Change to paid listings

Alongside the announcement of an immediate re-brand to Google Shopping on May 31, 2012, Google also announced that in late 2012, it would change the service to use a "pay-to-play" model, where merchants would have to pay Google to list their products on the service, with results influenced by both relevance and the bid amounts they pay. Google justified the move by stating that it would allow the service to "deliver the best answers for people searching for products and help connect merchants with the right customers."[2][9]

The change proved controversial; some small businesses showed concern that they would not be able to compete with larger companies that can afford a larger advertising budget.[3] Microsoft's Bing also attacked the move in an advertising campaign known as "Scroogled," which called Google out for using "deceptive advertising practices" and suggesting that users use its competing Bing Shopping service instead.[10]

Google also revealed plans to integrate Google Catalogs with Google Shopping, to give users "more ways to find ideas and inspiration as you shop and engage with your favorite brand."[11]

In June 2017, Google Shopping was fined a record €2.4 billion by the EU Commission for giving its own online shopping services top priority in search results.[4]

In March 2018, Google introduced Shopping Actions, a commission based model, where customers can shop "on the Google Assistant and Search with a universal cart, whether they're on mobile, desktop, or even a Google Home device"[12]

Initial case studies on the impact of Shopping Actions vs Google Shopping alone show positive results, with higher Average Order Value, increase in basket size, and higher revenue to merchants.[13]


Google Shopping was originally known as Froogle, a pun on the term "frugal." On April 18, 2007, the product was renamed Google Product Search; the name was dropped due to concerns surrounding internationalization, people not understanding the pun or understanding what the service was actually about, and concerns related to the company's trademark infringement lawsuit against competing website Froogles.[8] On May 31, 2012, the product was renamed to Google Shopping.[2] The URL "" remains as a redirect to Google Shopping's website.

Antitrust fine

On June 27, 2017, the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, decided to fine Google €2.4 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. Google was found to have abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving illegal advantages to another Google product, its own comparison shopping service.[14]

According to the European Commission, Google started giving its own Froogle significantly better treatment than rivals as early as 2008. It first began in Germany and the United Kingdom, followed by France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, then the Czech Republic and finally Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Poland and Sweden. A total 418 million citizens of the European Economic Area are claimed to have been deprived of the full benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation.[14] Further damage payments may have to be required from Google should it not comply with European antitrust rules within 90 days.[14]


Google Shopping is currently available in:[15][16]

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

See Also


  1. ^ "Google Feels a Little Froogle - InternetNews". Internet News. 2002-12-12. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
  2. ^ a b c d "Google Commerce: Building a better shopping experience". Google Commerce Blog. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b Efrati, Amir (1 June 2012). "Google Makes Shopping Site Pay-to-Play". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Antitrust: Commission fines Google €2.42 billion for abusing dominance as search engine by giving illegal advantage to own comparison shopping service". Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  5. ^ David A. Vise; Mark Malseed (2006). The Google Story. Delta Trade Paperbacks. pp. 137–. ISBN 978-0-553-38366-9.
  6. ^ "Google searches out an e-tail niche". CNET. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  7. ^ Alex Salkever (13 January 2003). "Will Froogle Be a Google for Shoppers?". Businessweek. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Google takes the pun out of shopping". CNET. 18 April 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Danny (31 May 2012). "Google Product Search To Become Google Shopping, Use Pay-To-Play Model". Search Engine Land. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Microsoft Scroogled Site Challenges Google Shopping Honesty". InformationWeek. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Google Catalogs Comes To The Web, Now Integrated With Google Shopping". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  12. ^ "Help shoppers take action, wherever and however they choose to shop". Google. 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  13. ^ "Google Shopping Actions vs. Google Shopping: A real-world case study". Search Engine Land. 2019-03-11. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  14. ^ a b c Statement by Commissioner Vestager on Commission decision to fine Google €2.42 billion for abusing dominance as search engine by giving illegal advantage to own comparison shopping service, on, accessed on 7 July 2017.
  15. ^ Google Shopping Rolls Out In More Countries. WebProNews. Retrieved on 2013-11-29.
  16. ^ Inside AdWords: Google Shopping

External links


Communicorp Media is a media holding company based in Ireland and owned wholly by the Irish billionaire Denis O'Brien.

Comparison shopping website

A comparison shopping website, sometimes called a price comparison website, price analysis tool, comparison shopping agent, shopbot or comparison shopping engine, is a vertical search engine that shoppers use to filter and compare products based on price, features, reviews and other criteria. Most comparison shopping sites aggregate product listings from many different retailers but do not directly sell products themselves, instead earning money from affiliate marketing agreements. In the United Kingdom, these services made between £780m and £950m in revenue in 2005. Hence, E-commerce accounted for an 18.2 percent share of total business turnover in the United Kingdom in 2012. Online sales already account for 13% of the total UK economy, and its expected to increase to 15% by 2017. There is a huge contribution of comparison shopping websites in the expansion of current E-commerce industry.

Craig Nevill-Manning

Craig Graham Nevill-Manning is a New Zealand computer scientist who founded Google's first remote engineering center, located in midtown Manhattan, where he is an Engineering Director. He also invented Froogle (now Google Shopping), a product search engine.

Criticism of Google

Criticism of Google includes concern for tax avoidance, misuse and manipulation of search results, its use of others' intellectual property, concerns that its compilation of data may violate people's privacy and collaboration with Google Earth by the military to spy on us , censorship of search results and content, and the energy consumption of its servers as well as concerns over traditional business issues such as monopoly, restraint of trade, antitrust, "idea borrowing", and being an "Ideological Echo Chamber".

Alphabet Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program.Google's stated mission is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful"; this mission, and the means used to accomplish it, have raised concerns among the company's critics. Much of the criticism pertains to issues that have not yet been addressed by cyber law.


Deliv is a Menlo Park-based crowdsourced, same-day delivery startup. Deliv bridges the last mile gap between multichannel retailers and their customers. Deliv offers same-day service to mall shoppers.

Deliv was founded in 2012 by Daphne Carmeli, who also serves as CEO of the company.

Deliv has raised $12.35 million in funding from the four largest mall operators in the U.S., as well as General Catalyst, Redpoint Ventures, Trinity Ventures, Operators Fund and PivotNorthCrowdsourced drivers must undergo an extensive filtering process.

Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz

Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz is a fictional character from the American animated television shows Phineas and Ferb and Milo Murphy's Law. He was created by Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, and is voiced by Povenmire. The character first appeared in the pilot episode of the series and appears in the majority of episodes. He is described as an incompetent and forgetful evil scientist intent on conquering the "entire tri-state area" by creating obscure but nefarious inventions. Dr. Doofenshmirtz speaks with a caricature of a German accent and is from the fictional European country Drusselstein.

Doofenshmirtz appears in several merchandise pieces, including the book series and the video game. He made a later appearance in the Milo Murphy's Law episode "Fungus Among Us" and will later appear in the Phineas and Ferb/Milo Murphy's Law crossover episode, entitled "The Phineas and Ferb Effect". In the same episode, his house is destroyed and he begins to live in the Murphys' house, becoming a recurring character in the series.

European Union vs. Google

Since 2010, the European Union has launched three separate antitrust investigations into Google for violating the EU's competition laws due to its dominant position in the market. These cases have resulted in formal charges against Google related to Google Shopping, Google AdSense and the Android operating system. To date, Google has been found guilty of antitrust behavior in the cases related to Google Shopping and Android, and has been fined over €6 billion.

Faceted search

Faceted search is a technique which involves augmenting traditional search techniques with a faceted navigation system, allowing users to narrow down search results by applying multiple filters based on faceted classification of the items. A faceted classification system classifies each information element along multiple explicit dimensions, called facets, enabling the classifications to be accessed and ordered in multiple ways rather than in a single, pre-determined, taxonomic order.Facets correspond to properties of the information elements. They are often derived by analysis of the text of an item using entity extraction techniques or from pre-existing fields in a database such as author, descriptor, language, and format. Thus, existing web-pages, product descriptions or online collections of articles can be augmented with navigational facets.

Within the academic community, faceted search has attracted interest primarily among library and information science researchers, and to some extent among computer science researchers specializing in information retrieval.


GS1 is a not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains global standards for business communication. The best known of these standards is the barcode, a symbol printed on products that can be scanned electronically. GS1 barcodes are scanned more than six billion times every day.

GS1 has 112 local member organisations and 1.5 million user companies.

GS1 standards are designed to improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in 25 sectors. They form a business language that identifies, captures and shares key information about products, locations, assets and more.

Google Base

Google Base was a database provided by Google into which any user can add almost any type of content, such as text, images, and structured information in formats such as XML, PDF, Excel, RTF, or WordPerfect. As of September 2010, the product has since been downgraded to Google Merchant Center. If Google finds it relevant, submitted content may appear on its shopping search engine, Google Maps or even the web search. The piece of content can then be labeled with attributes like the ingredients for a recipe or the camera model for stock photography. Because information about the service was leaked before public release, it generated much interest in the information technology community prior to release. Google subsequently responded on their blog with an official statement:

"You may have seen stories today reporting on a new product that we're testing, and speculating about our plans. Here's what's really going on. We are testing a new way for content owners to submit their content to Google, which we hope will complement existing methods such as our web crawl and Google Sitemaps. We think it's an exciting product, and we'll let you know when there's more news."Files can be uploaded to the Google Base servers by browsing your computer or the web, by various FTP methods, or by API coding. Online tools are provided to view the number of downloads of the user's files, and other performance measures.

On December 17, 2010, it was announced that Google Base's API is deprecated in favor of a set of new APIs known as Google Shopping APIs.

Google Express

Google Express, formerly Google Shopping Express, is a shopping service from Google available in some parts of the United States that was launched on a free trial basis across the San Francisco Peninsula. Originally it was a same-day service. It later expanded to same-day and overnight delivery. Originally pricing was the same as in-person shopping, but later increased to the point where prices are typically US$4-$10 more per item; Google Express Help said, "Because item prices are set by stores, sometimes you'll see prices on Google Express that differ from what you'd see in the store: this depends both on the merchant and the location of the store your items come from."The service was first announced in March 2013, from San Francisco as far south as San Jose. Retailers include a mix of national and local stores. It was publicly launched on September 25, 2013, with some added retailers but still restricted to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Apps for Android and Apple smartphones were announced the same day; using these enables customers to use their loyalty accounts. In May 2014 the service was expanded to New York City and West Los Angeles, and in October 2014 service was added in Chicago, Boston, and Washington, DC, as well as additional retailers.At launch, Google waived the subscription fee for testers and for the first six months after sign-up; the fee is somewhat below that for Amazon Prime. Amazon, which is also testing same-day delivery in selected markets, is the main competitor. Delivery began with Prius sedans in Google Express livery, about 50 cars as of August 2013, when the service was available in 88 ZIP codes. The fleet was later expanded to include Ford Transit vans, and the company announced it might use bicycle and on-foot delivery in some areas. The deliveries are subcontracted to a courier service, initially 1-800-Courier, and later also OnTrac. In the testing phase, retailers were not charged, or paid only a nominal fee. Customers pay $5 per shopping stop and receive deliveries within a three- to five-hour window. Customers must have a Google Pay account.The service displays a map of the merchandise pickup and delivery locations, and attempts to use the nearest available outlet, although not always successfully.In October 2017, merchant partners included Walmart, Target Corporation, Costco, and Fry's Electronics.


The Kabutowari (Japanese: 兜割, lit. "helmet breaker" or "skull breaker"), also known as hachiwari, was a type of knife-shaped weapon, resembling a jitte in many respects. This weapon was carried as a side-arm by the samurai class of feudal Japan.

List of mergers and acquisitions by Alphabet

Google is a computer software and a web search engine company that acquired, on average, more than one company per week in 2010 and 2011. The table below is an incomplete list of acquisitions, with each acquisition listed being for the respective company in its entirety, unless otherwise specified. The acquisition date listed is the date of the agreement between Google and the acquisition subject. As Google is headquartered in the United States, acquisition is listed in US dollars. If the price of an acquisition is unlisted, then it is undisclosed. If the Google service that is derived from the acquired company is known, then it is also listed here. Google itself was re-organized into a subsidiary of a larger holding company known as Alphabet Inc. in 2015.

As of December 2016, Alphabet has acquired over 200 companies, with its largest acquisition being the purchase of Motorola Mobility, a mobile device manufacturing company, for $12.5 billion. Most of the firms acquired by Google are based in the United States, and, in turn, most of these are based in or around the San Francisco Bay Area. To date, Alphabet has divested itself of four business units: Frommers, which was sold back to Arthur Frommer in April 2012; SketchUp, which was sold to Trimble in April 2012, Boston Dynamics in early 2016 and Google Radio Automation, which was sold to WideOrbit in 2009.Many Google products originated as services provided by companies that Google has since acquired. For example, Google's first acquisition was the Usenet company Deja News, and its services became Google Groups. Similarly, Google acquired Dodgeball, a social networking service company, and eventually replaced it with Google Latitude. Other acquisitions include web application company JotSpot, which became Google Sites; Voice over IP company GrandCentral, which became Google Voice; and video hosting service company Next New Networks, which became YouTube Next Lab and Audience Development Group. CEO Larry Page has explained that potential acquisition candidates must pass a sort of "toothbrush test": Are their products potentially useful once or twice a day, and do they improve your life?Following the acquisition of Israel-based startup Waze in June 2013, Google submitted a 10-Q filing with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) that revealed that the corporation spent $1.3 billion on acquisitions during the first half of 2013, with $966 million of that total going to Waze.


Pricesearcher is an independent e-commerce search engine launched in the UK in 2016 which helps shoppers find the best prices for products online. It does not use the traditional Price Comparison Website (PCW) model adopted by comparison sites such as and search engines such as Google Shopping where retailers pay to list their products for sale. Since its inception, it has listed products from online retailers, without charging a listing fee or commission for sales. Product search results are consequently unaffected by a retailer's marketing budget or lack thereof.

Shoppers are able to use the vertical search engine as a price-checking tool, to see whether the goods they find 'on sale' elsewhere are genuinely a good deal.

Product data management

Product data management (PDM) or Product information management (PIM) is the business function often within product lifecycle management (PLM) that is responsible for the management and publication of product data. In software engineering, this is known as version control. The goals of product data management include ensuring all stakeholders share a common understanding, that confusion during the execution of the processes is minimized, and that the highest standards of quality controls are maintained.

Product feed

A product feed or product data feed is a file made up of a list of products and attributes of those products organized so that each product can be displayed, advertised or compared in a unique way. A product feed typically contains a product image, title, product identifier, marketing copy, and product attributes.Product feeds supply the content that is presented on many kinds of e-commerce websites such as search engines, price comparison websites, affiliate networks, and other similar aggregators of e-commerce information. Product data feeds are generated by manufacturers, online retailers and, in some cases, product information is extracted using web scraping or harvested web harvesting from the online shops website.


Scroogled was a Microsoft attack advertising campaign that ran between November 2012 and 2014. Created by Mark Penn, the campaign sought primarily to attack a competing company, Google, by pointing out disadvantages and criticism of their products and services in comparison to those run by Microsoft (particularly, Bing and The original campaign focused on Google Shopping's change to a pay per click model, with later campaigns focusing upon Google's use of user data for targeted advertising, and the capabilities of the Chrome OS platform in comparison to Windows.


Yaoota (Arabic: ياقوطة) is an Egyptian search engine for products sold online in Egypt. The engine, which was referred to by Forbes as the “Egyptian Version of Google Shopping”, made headlines in October 2015 upon securing the largest Series A investment in Egypt from UAE-based private equity KBBO Group, only one year post-launch. It was also featured in a separate Forbes ranking as number 2 of the 20 Most Promising Egyptian Startups. The choice of the name Yaoota, which translates roughly to “Crazy Tomatoes”, mirrors the Egyptian culture, which relies on an all too familiar street vendor shout out in street markets that mocks the volatility of tomato and vegetable prices.


Zentail (Zentail, Inc.) is an ecommerce technology company based in Columbia, Maryland, USA that offers software and revenue optimization services to online retailers and brands. Zentail's cloud-based software integrates with,,,, Google Shopping, BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, SkuVault, Fishbowl Inventory, FedEx Supply Chain, Rakuten Super Logistics, Shipwire, Fulfillment Works and ShipBob.

Zentail is the first privately held integration partner of and Walmart Marketplace.


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