Froogle & Google Base – The Happy Couple


Google Base and Froogle

Since I have a feeling most of you aren’t subscribers, I wanted to post Froogle’s most recent quarterly newsletter which was sent to merchants on Thursday, December 22 (odd timing for a merchant email as everyone is busy fullfilling orders).

A couple interesting items:
-Google now wants everyone to submit their products to Froogle through Google Base as “Google Base will gradually replace the Froogle Merchant Center.”
-Froogle expanded it’s product feed and now includes a ton of additional attributes Google Base/Froogle even accepts custom attributes. SMART…Google wants as much information as possible.
-Froogle wants to understand if the service is useful as they are “looking for a limited number of partners who’d be willing to let Froogle analyze their store’s click and conversion statistics.”

Now, onto the newsletter…

December 2005

Welcome to the eighth edition of Froogle News, which offers news, tips and other relevant information that will help keep you in the Froogle loop.

We’ve made a number of big improvements this quarter, including local shopping, a new look for Froogle, and a brand new way to upload your inventory information. We hope you enjoy all the recent changes and we look forward to offering even more improvements in the months to come.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please send your thoughts about this newsletter and ideas for future editions to froogle-newsletter@google.com.

The Froogle Team
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Local Shopping
Do you have physical store locations? Now they can get customers from Froogle too. List both your online and local inventory and shoppers can decide whether to buy via your website or pick up the item in person. This could be especially useful for products that customers like to try out in person before they buy (like clothing or electronics) and items that are difficult to ship (like furniture or cars).

Here’s how it works: When a shopper does a search on Froogle and clicks on the “Local Shopping” link on their results page, they’ll be asked for a location, and then shown a map of nearby stores that sell their item of interest. Shoppers who visit the Froogle homepage and enter location-specific search terms like “digital cameras in San Francisco, CA” will see Froogle’s local shopping results right away. For example, here are local shopping results for clothing or sofas.

To include your local store information on Froogle, you’ll need to send us a local inventory bulk upload using Google Base. Please be sure that your bulk upload item type is specified as either “Products” or “Vehicles.” Learn more.
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New Features
You may have noticed that Froogle looks a bit different lately. It’s been a few years and we felt it was high time we gave ourselves a makeover. We think the new Froogle offers a simpler and more visual search experience, with key enhancements like clickable price ranges, brand and related search suggestions and the ability to sort results by product rating, merchant rating and even merchant name. We’ve also revised the seller comparison page to include sortable columns, larger product images and centralized product descriptions.

We think our new interface will help customers find your products more easily on Froogle. We invite you to explore for yourself, and let us know what you think.
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Google Base
We’re pleased to announce Google Base, a new resource that enables you to easily submit your feeds (now bulk uploads) to Froogle and keep them updated. Google Base offers a variety of new bulk upload formats. In addition to the current tab-delimited format, we’re now also accepting bulk uploads in RSS 2.0, RSS 1.0, and Atom 0.3. As with tab-delimited bulk uploads, you can upload in our new formats using either File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or directly from Google Base.

We’ve also expanded our product feed format to include some new standard fields (now called attributes). You can specify everything from quantity and unit price to accepted forms of payment and even define your own attributes. If you have product information that doesn’t fit into one of our defined attributes.

Google Base will gradually replace the Froogle Merchant Center. For now, however, submitting your product info through the Merchant Center is still the best way to ensure that your products remain listed in Froogle throughout the holiday shopping season.
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Tips
New Information Types
Our goal is to organize the world’s information, and that includes your contributions, whether they comprise your store inventory, a research paper on cancer receptors, or a collection of original poetry. Google Base can be used to publish virtually any kind of information on both Google’s web search index and our other search applications. As with Froogle, posting any other type of information is free. Learn more about posting your information to Google Base.

Increase your web page’s visibility with Google Sitemaps
As an online merchant, you understand how Froogle can help people find your products online, but you may also be interested in ways to help people find your web pages in Google’s search results. Google Sitemaps is an easy (and free!) way to submit all your URLs to us and help improve your coverage in the Google index. With each URL that you submit, you can also tell us when that page was last modified, how frequently it changes, or when you’ve created new pages. It’s a great way to help people discover more of your products through Google. Learn more about Google Sitemaps.

Find customers through Google AdWords
Advertising with Google means connecting with new customers right when they’re looking for your products or services. The Google Network reaches more than 80% of Internet users.* With AdWords you create your own ads, choose keywords to help us match your ads to your audience, and pay us when someone actually clicks on them. You control every aspect of your campaigns, from how much you spend to which geographic areas your ads appear in. Learn more about AdWords.
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Your Turn

We hope that Froogle is proving to be a valuable resource in helping potential customers find your products, but you tell us: how well does Froogle traffic translate into sales for your store, and how does this traffic compare to other product search engines?

We’re also looking for a limited number of partners who’d be willing to let Froogle analyze their store’s click and conversion statistics, so please let us know if you’re interested in sharing your site’s traffic data with us. This information will be kept confidential and will be used to improve Froogle for merchants.

Please send your responses to froogle-newsletter@google.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

More Froogle posts:
My comments on the August Froogle Newsletter – August 4, 2005
Cleaning up Froogle – One Post at a Time – December 8, 2005
Froogle – Leftover Spam – December 7, 2005
Froogle Spam – December 4, 2005

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