Google Commerce: Search giant makes an under-the-radar shopping play

Amidst the noise over the new Droid handset, Google's new free GPS navigation application, and Rupert Murdoch's dance with Microsoft (MSFT) to put News Corp. stories exclusively in the Bing search engine, Google (GOOG) slipped in another new product that could prove to have far more impact on its bottom line. On Nov. 4, the dominant search player unveiled a new search engine product geared to help e-commerce sites provide better intrasite search capabilities to users browsing wares. The move comes at a time when the online shopping world is heating up, with Amazon (AMZN) rapidly expanding it's non-book offerings, and Walmart.com (WMT) slashing prices to show up Jeff Bezos and his Seattle team at Amazon.

Called Google Commerce, it is likely a variant on Google's popular custom search engine product, which allows any site administrator to harness the power of Google to provide comprehensive search capabilities covering only content within their specific site. More broadly, Google Commerce could be part of a budding effort to insert the search giant more squarely into online shopping and grab reams of data to help it sell more ads.