Become.com has been getting a lot of press lately, and for good reason. The still in beta search engine does an excellent job of helping users locate buying guides, product reviews, and other detailed information that helps guide online shoppers in the purchasing process. Founded by former MySimon staffers Yeogirl Yun and Michael Yang, Become.com indexes more than 3 billion pages of shopping related content.
Become.com announced earlier this week that they had added a news search feature to the site in order to help consumers locate the latest information about new product offerings, recalls and safety warnings. The news search has been integrated into the system so that results are automatically displayed at the top of the search listings for any query that a user runs. With a similar look to Google's news integration, Become.com sets news stories apart with a brief "In the News:" tag at the top of the search results.
“Become.com's News Search is the latest component of our service designed to help people make ideal buying decisions. By providing exceptionally relevant and up-to-date information combined with our index of more than 3 billion pages of shopping related content, we are helping people make more confident, better-informed purchases,” said Michael Yang, founder, President and CEO. “Not only do we want to help consumers make informed decisions, we also want to protect them. Product recalls happen daily and the News Search service is designed to build consumer awareness.”
The news listings are updated every ten minutes and are compiled from a list of hundreds of the top U.S. news sources. The new feature can be a handy one for consumers doing product research. For instance, while running a search on a Graco stroller, the news listing showed me a link to a product recall on two of Graco's current strollers. The instant access to the data can be handy, since news often takes some time to trickle down into the standard results at most search engines.
The addition of news listings also opens up a new avenue of optimization for search marketers. Much like the idea of issuing press releases that are optimized for certain terms in order to gain traffic through Google news links, companies could issue press releases about new product lines or product improvements in order to gain more attention and listings in the Become.com search results.
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July 7, 2005
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jenniferâ€™s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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