MSN is quietly beta testing a new shopping search engine which some say will rival Froogle, Google's shopping search engine. According to the best test site, it "tests new technology to help you find product information and make informed buying decisions on MSN. It uses a new search engine and shows more products than today's version of MSN Shopping", which is located at http://shopping.msn.com. The new beta version is available at http://beta.shopping.msn.com.

Steve Rubel, the Vice President of Client Services at CooperKatz & Company recently mentioned the new MSN Beta Shopping Search Engine on his blog called Micro Persuasion (http://www.micropersuasion.com/). Referring to it as "MSN's Stealthy Shopping Search Engine", he says that "The press didn't" know about it "but a few bloggers have known for awhile thanks to one of the Microsoft webloggers." Apparently the new beta site rolled out about a month ago.

According to Microsoft, "we are testing new technology to help you find product information easily and make informed buying decisions. Our focus here is to explore new ways to help you search for products, refine your search, sort results in a variety of different ways (by price, popularity, etc.), compare similar products and their cost at different stores and to provide product ratings and reviews by shoppers like yourself."

Currently, "guides, category pages and Editors' Picks columns are not included in this Beta" although they will "be included in our final release- they're just not what we are testing on this Beta site." There is no word on how to get products included, although advertising information is available at http://www.advertising.msn.com/home/home.asp.

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March 18, 2005





Bill Hartzer currently runs a Strategic Online Marketing Consultancy that includes services such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, and online reputation management.

Bill Hartzer formerly managed the Search Engine Marketing division of Vizion Interactive and MarketNet, leading interactive marketing and website design firms in the Dallas, Texas area.

Hartzer is a successful writer, blogger, search engine marketing, and social media marketing expert. During the past fifteen years, some of his many accomplishments include: Search Engine Marketing Manager, Vizion Interactive, Search Engine Marketing Manager, MarketNet, Search Engine Optimization Strategist, Intec Telecom Systems PLC, Webmaster, Intec Telecom Systems PLC, Founder, Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association, Owner/Author, Corporate Web Site Marketing, Administrator, Search Engine Forums, Frequent Speaker, Search Engine Strategies Conferences, Frequent Speaker, WebmasterWorld's PubCon Search Engine and Internet Marketing Conference.








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