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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Internet

Google gives mobile shoppers some help ahead of Black Friday

Google's mobile search will deliver more shopping details and a 360-degree view of certain products.

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You'll be able to rotate some products 360 degrees. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Google is trying to make it easier for shoppers to compare products and prices right from their mobile device.

Starting this week, the search giant will tweak the shopping results for its mobile website to deliver more details on the products on your holiday list. When you search for a product on Google via your phone or tablet, you'll see more information on the item, find out where to buy it and read reviews from other users, Google said in a blog posted Sunday. You'll also be able to rotate certain products 360 degrees to get a fuller view of them.

It's no secret that shoppers who browse the aisles of retail stores use their smartphones to compare prices at other stores, both online and offline. Find the tablet you want at Best Buy or Staples, and it's a common practice to whip out your smartphone to dig up details on that tablet. You'll also likely want to find reviews of the tablet to determine if it's worth buying.

Many retailers match the prices of the competition to secure a sale. So checking out product prices of rival retailers can help no matter where you plan to buy the item. Many retailers even offer different prices online than they do at the store. So at the very least, you may want to check out the price of an item offered by Best Buy or Staples online to see if it's lower than the price in the store. In that case, the store should honor the online price.

For Google, the tweaked shopping results appear to be a move to capitalize on the growth of mobile products searches and drive traffic to Google Shopping.

"Shopping searches on Google coming from smartphones have increased 3.5x year over year and continue to grow," Google said in a blog post about Black Friday . "We're currently sending more mobile traffic to retailers per week from Google Shopping than we did during the peak of last holiday season. The smartphone has become the most powerful shopping assistant while consumers are out and about, helping us read customer reviews, watch product demos and find other retailers with product in stock nearby."

To tap into Google's mobile site to help with your holiday shopping, launch Google on your mobile device. In the search field, type the name of the product you seek. Then tap the Shopping category to narrow the results. From there, Google will display the name and photos of the item, a description, prices from different retailers, reviews, videos and more details.