Epinions is Toast

I'd like to make a prediction: Epinions is toast. Google is going after the price-comparison market with their "Froogle" shopping search engine tool (incidentally, PriceWatch and DealTime ought to watch out, too). I think it's clear that they'll be posting the most relevant Froogle results on the main search page soon, like they do for Google News.

Why does this concern Epinions? Epinions deals mostly with rating and reviewing products, which Froogle doesn't touch...yet. But another new toy from Google Labs does: WebQuotes. WebQuotes annotates your search with quotes (and links) from other websites. Imagine WebQuotes matched with a product search feature, and you can see why Epinions might be in trouble.

Epinions can fight back against irrelevance by attempting to become the prime source for quotations. But I still think people will click through from Google.

So. I will make my first tech-pundit prediction: Epinions is Toast.

Some of my reasoning in this piece is inspired by Paul Ford's fictional story August 2009: How Google beat Amazon and Ebay to the Semantic Web.