Matt McGee from Search Engine Land reports:
Google Catalogs, a service that Google resuscitated last year on tablets, is coming to the web as part of Google Shopping.
Actually, “coming back to the web” might be more accurate. Google offered catalog search on the web as early as 2001, and then abandoned it in 2009 due to low usage.
The new version of Google Catalogs is admittedly different, though — it’s browsable, not searchable. Beginning at www.google.com/catalogs, shoppers can browse by brand name, category or use Google’s list of Featured catalogs. As best I can tell, there are several hundred catalogs in the system.
Retailers that want to add their catalog can contact Google for consideration.
CPC Strategy’s take:
Why will catalogs be part of the big ecommerce picture? Mobile and tablets. The expanding market that relies on smaller touch screens will integrate with an app like Google Catalogs seamlessly, allowing users who like pictures and browsing the ability to shop in a new way.
New online catalog services have been popping up on the web recently. Now Google has taken a big step in as one of the major players in the market. If you have an online catalog, make sure you contact Google for consideration to be included.
If you don’t have one, and are a small seller, there are probably better things you can do with your time. It’s not clear how much traffic will go through Google’s new shopping catalogs, but for certain, at least for now, it will be a fraction of that which goes through Google Shopping.
Already got a Google Shopping Catalog? You can make sure you’re tracking traffic from the source, separate from Google Shopping, here.