SingleFeed has launched! SingleFeed is an online self-service data feed management, submission, and optimization company. No matter what level of experience you have with data feeds, we can save you time and money working with the shopping comparison engines. Learn to love your feed. SingleFeed.
One of the many reasons vertical search has taken off is because the main search engines are pushing it. Google, Yahoo!, Ask, and MSN have all
placed inserted vertical search results into their core search offerings, and more importantly, these results are featured above the fold. Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineWatch has talked about this for years.
In other words, if you’re a merchant, it is now important to get in the shopping comparison engines if you want exposure on the main search engines. Pay per click (PPC) listings remain essential as they are usually the first results on the page. Organic listings (all that search engine optimization (SEO) work you are doing) are extremely important. But take a close look at the results on any of the main search engines, and the shopping comparison engine listings are getting incredible placement.
This is one of the reasons Froogle continues to grow at an astounding pace. (Trying to get permission to use comScore data. Will post soon – hopefully).
On December 4, 2005, I wrote “My advice to merchants, for the next couple months: optimize your listings on the top shopping comparison engines and then if you have time left over, submit your datafeed to Froogle.” I said ‘for the next couple months’ because I recognized the power of Froogle, and knew that the company would eventually put in the effort to clean up its shopping comparison engine. Because Froogle’s results were so filled with Spam (affiliate listings, bait-and-switch listings, porn, etc.) and out-of-stock listings, I thought it would be smarter for merchants to concentrate their efforts on the other shopping comparison engines.
Fast forward to today. I recommend that merchants seriously start working with Froogle right now. Why?
-Froogle’s traffic has increased
-Froogle is free
-Merchants can get great exposure on Google searches through Froogle
-If you have a physical location, it is imperative that you get your listings up well in advance of the holiday rush. This coming holiday season will not be known as the ‘everyone is researching online and buying offline season’ but rather the ‘I searched for a product online and found out exactly where the product was in-stock offline’ season. Through ShopLocal (which seems to own local information for major retailers. Poor Cairo.) and Channel Intelligence, Froogle Local is going to be a major powerhouse come winter.
-Froogle is still in beta which means problems with submission. Seriously. Data feed submission to Froogle is an art, not a science. It takes a while to get all your products and all associated data (like images) up and running.
-You have to be where your competitors are
-I have a feeling that Froogle will eventually highlight merchants which accept Google payments. The earlier you get up and running with Froogle, the earlier you will be up and running with Google payments. And I think there is currently a waitlist for signup.
-Working with Froogle is a good introduction to data feeds and shopping comparison engines. A lot of merchants use Froogle, but don’t use Shopping.com, Shopzilla, PriceGrabber, NexTag, and Yahoo! Shopping. I think it’s important to test the waters with all of these shopping comparison engines. If you have success on Froogle, you can most likely have success with fee based shopping comparison engines. Test Froogle so you understand the metrics required to make this channel profitable for your business.
My recommendation to submit your data feed to Froogle does not change the fact that the engine still has a lot to work on. Spam and out-of-stock listings are not completely cleaned up. Bait-and-switch listings are not completely cleaned up. Merchants with low product prices and exorbinantly high shipping fees are not completely cleaned up. I personally still would not recommend Froogle to consumers. However, I know Google has a ton of bright people who will make Froogle and GoogleBase an incredible resource for consumers on par with the other shopping comparison engines…and it might happen as soon as this fall.
Create a froogle feed today.