Google’s New Way to Keep You Engaged Involves Shopping

Google has a new way to make people shop: Similar Items
By Jonathan Vanian. Source: Fortune.
People searching Google for photos of designer shoes, sunglasses, or other snazzy apparel have a new way to shop.

The search giant said this week that its debuted a new feature called Similar Items, which is intended to make it easier for people to buy clothing and some fashion accessories when they search for photos.

Now when you search for designer shoes from your phone and find a photo you like in Google Images, Google will display several listings of similar looking shoes from third-party vendors like Amazon and eBay, complete with how much they cost. Currently, the feature only retrieves handbags, sunglasses, and shoes based on what people search for, but Google said it will eventually include other apparel and home and garden accessories “in the next few months.”

The new feature is similar to online-photo sharing website Pinterest, which also displays images of goods that people may want to buy based on their searches.

It’s unclear if Google makes any money or eventually plans to if someone purchases something via the Similar Items feature.

Fortune contacted Google for more information and will update this story if it responds.

As industry trade publication Search Engine Land points out, companies that want their goods displayed via the new feature need to ensure that their webpages contain the appropriate information, like product names and prices, so Google can spool the info.

As of now, the feature is only available to smartphone users who search Google via a mobile browser or people who use Google’s mobile search app for Android-powered phones. Google said it plans “to expand to more platforms in 2017.”

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