Google beta-testing catalog search site

Web search engine Google on Dec. 13 opened a beta site of its new catalog search engine, to coincide with last-minute holiday shopping. More than 1,500 catalogs are searchable, from larger companies such as L.L. Bean and Lands’ End to smaller ones such as A Cook’s Ware and Cat Claws.

According to a report in MSNBC, Google plans to charge catalogers for direct links from images in its catalog database to products on mailers’ individual Websites. Google also plans to sell information to catalogers about how Web shoppers search and read their online catalogs.

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