September 30, 2011, 12:00 AM

Google searches for the right way to make its search results more shopper-friendly

To make its leading search engine more appealing to online shoppers, Google is launching a new product search page within its Google Shopping. "This is a platform to get products to consumers," vice president of commerce and payments Stephanie Tilenius says.

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Google Inc. wants to be more shopper-friendly. To make the leading search engine more appealing to online shoppers, it's launching a new product search page within the Google Shopping section of Google.com, Stephanie Tilenius, Google's vice president of commerce and payments, said at last month's Shop.org conference.

The page she presented showed results for an apparel search and featured several large product images in addition to text links. "Product search results will show more curated sets of products," she said. "This is a platform to get products to consumers."

With the redesign, Google will require retailers to provide more data about products in their product feeds, such as Universal Product Codes unique to each product and manufacturer data; with more information, Google will be able to display results that better match each search query, says Eric Best, CEO of Mercent Corp., a company that helps retailers sell through e-marketplaces, including Google Shopping. "The new search engine results page is designed to increase search relevance to consumers," he says.

Google's new product search results page will also emphasize results featuring local retailers. "More screen real estate is dedicated to Google Local and includes maps and store location information, inventory availability and pricing," Best says.

Tilenius says that 80% of retail spending is local. She also noted that the mobile phone is bridging the divide between the web and stores, and that Google is seeking to better serve mobile shoppers.

"We believe there is a whole new playing field developing," she says. "These are web-connected, location-aware consumers that go to retailers. We are creating efficiencies to connect online and offline."

allison@verticalwebmedia.com

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