Mentioning Google For Good PR

Gary blogged earlier about ridiculous press releases that make mention of being top ranked in
Google or getting a Google PageRank increase as a way to attract press attention. The LA Times has a nice, short write-up consolidating both of those absurd incidents
along with another: Google Ranks High in Press Release Mentions.

At the end of the write-up is a story about Synergy Brands having its shares sore 42 percent after announcing it would be a Froogle “select merchant.” Even the
company’s own chair describe the rise “irrational exuberance,” though it rings a bit false since his own company put out the
press release obviously hoping for some type of gain.

Deconstructing that press release is interesting. It says the company has been “selected” by Google to be one of “the select merchants” in Google’s
“soon-to-be-introduced shopping engine” Froogle. Reality check?

  • Google doesn’t really “select” anyone for Froogle. Material is gathered from across the web if it appears ecommerce related. And if Google doesn’t find you, then
    anyone can submit a feed. It’s hardly exclusive. Or to quote from the site about getting in: “How
    much do I have to pay to be included in Froogle? Zip. Zero. Nada. Inclusion in Froogle is completely free. Our goal is to enable users to search over the broadest
    possible range of products for sale online. To do that, we include all merchants at no charge.”
  • There is no such thing as “select merchants.” Perhaps Synergy feels it is “select” by being on Froogle, but Froogle itself conveyed no such distinction to Synergy.
  • Froogle isn’t a “soon-to-be-introduced” service. The shopping search engine was launched
    nearly two years ago. It remains in beta. Perhaps Synergy knows something about it being released from that status? Nope, Google tells me:

“We have not made any announcements of Froogle coming out of beta, nor is there a ‘select’ merchant program associated with Froogle. Synergy Brands is just another
merchant submitting feeds to Froogle,” said Google spokesperson Eileen Rodriguez.

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