With "Black Friday" on the horizon, Google has made a number of improvements to its Google Product Search capabilities that the online search giant said would make holiday shopping easier.
The announcement of the shopping aid enhancements followed the news Monday that Google is acquiring Teracent Corp., a Silicon Valley startup that develops software for customizing online display advertisements.
Google already owns DoubleClick, the online advertising company it acquired last year for $1.3 billion, and earlier this month the online search company said it would acquire AdMob, a mobile advertising display company, for $750 million.
Combine all those advertising capabilities with Google Product Search and the company would seem to have all the shopping bases covered.
Google Product Search lets consumers compare products and their prices from merchants across the Internet, including online retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy and even eBay and other online auctioneers.
The enhancements to the Google Product Search pages include a new gallery view that shows larger, higher-resolution photos of products than before. The product reviews section now includes a review summary so consumers can see at a glance what people are saying about a product. And the site now incorporates video product reviews from YouTube.
For those who prefer to make their purchases from a store, the site now offers a map of nearby store locations that carry the product a consumer is interested in. And Google Product Search now works on mobile phones, allowing consumers to compare prices, find coupons and even use a smartphone's bar code scanner application to compare prices.