Google Shopping for Suppliers Shutdown


Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn NY. [Photo credit: Ben Britz]

Two weeks ago Google quietly shut down Google Shopping for Suppliers – so quietly that I didn’t hear about it until this week. But for me, the story began two years ago at the ECIA Executive Conference. I noticed some unusual participants, a group from Google eager to learn about the ins and outs of the electronic component industry. Google Shopping for Suppliers launched shortly after, limited to “electrical and electronic components”.

It looked like Google Shopping for Suppliers was trying to do the same thing as Octopart: provide one place to find the electronic and industrial components you’re looking for. Our response was typical for this kind of surprising news we get from time to time: some frenzied conversation, followed by getting back to work and not really looking back.

I don’t know why Google shut it down, but I’ll speculate. Providing search on industrial products requires complete and accurate information about thousands of technical attributes across millions of products. Complete and accurate data is hard to get – shockingly, the component manufacturers often don’t even have it.

Given enough time, I have no doubt that Google could have collected enough of this information to build a useful search for industrial products. But it’s a long term project, and they probably wanted to see quicker results.

As Google Shopping for Suppliers fades into our rear view mirror, we’re still collecting lots of technical product data and working on the problem of electronic component search. If this kind of problem is interesting to you, we’re hiring software engineers. If you’re a component manufacturer or distributor that spent a lot of time producing structured data for Google, don’t let that hard work go to waste. We can help you get your parts in front of our 700,000 monthly visitors who are making design decisions and purchasing components.

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