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12 December 2002 @ 03:16 pm
Testing Froogle  
I've been playing around with Froogle to see what products I could find.

My first few tests were products from Deep 7, a small local game company.

Test 1: Arrowflight, their flagship product. The first hit was right on, showing Arrowflight for sale for $22.95 at deep7.com. The remaining 4 results were less effective, including misses at cyberdungeon and dimestoreproductions, one hit at rubbermalletgames.com, and a hit in Russia.

Test 2: "Santa's Soldiers" produced no hits, but "Santa's soldiers deep7" produced the correct link at deep7.com, even though it showed the winzip "get winzip now" image as the associated image. Unfortunately, this means you have to KNOW that Santa's Soldiers is from deep7 to find it with froogle, at which point you may as well just go directly to deep7.com. Then again, I was able to get the result with "Santa's soldiers RPG"

Test 3: "Red Dwarf RPG". The first result was a hit, pointing to a pre-order page for the Red Dwarf RPG at svgames.com. Unfortunately, the only deep7 link was to their "Mean Streets" RPG, which has an ad for the Red Dwarf RPG.

Test 4 (first non-deep7 test): Farscape Season 2, volume 5. "Farscape 2.5" turned up a hit for the first link, but this was the only hit on the first page of search results.

Test 5: "Death of the Necromancer" turned up two hits for buying the book from alibris and catalogcity. Since I bought the book recently from half.ebay.com, and price-checked it on amazon, it seems odd to me that neither of these sites are even listed.

Test 6: "Collapsium", another book I purchased recently from half.com. Again, the top hits are from alibris and CatalogCity. No links from amazon.com, bn.com, borders.com, or half.com. This is starting to get interesting.

Test 7: "Web Design in a Nutshell", a book I happened to have on my desk. The first seven links are all hits, and there's even one for bn.com -- although that is one of the links that does NOT have the price listed.

I don't think froogle is very reliable at this point. The first search result is usually a "hit", but quite often you get a lot of garbage search results. Also, a lot of catalogs do not seem to be currently "froogle-friendly", but Google has answer for that, and are trying to work with sites to set up a data feed. If a lot of vendors sign on to that, I can imagine froogle's usefulness skyrocketing.

UPDATE: From the info on google.com, it looks like they are specifying a simple data feed format for catalogs which you can UPLOAD daily, weekly, or monthly. I can see how this scheme will favor relatively small merchants with at least a minimum level of technical competency, and be a huge problem for extremely large merchants (like amazon, bn, and such). It will also be pretty much impossible for ebay.
Lady Doom: Katchoolithera on December 12th, 2002 03:50 pm (UTC)
Well, actaully that depends on how it is set up. We have some similar set ups with other people. We have an amazing ability to send out and confirm information like that.

For those who enjoy being a webmonkey, I recommend tooling around with Associtates @ Amazon.com. Nothing like getting to mess around with our code and make money off of referring people to our website. If only I had a website and was a web monkey.