Google Base, Froogle, and Google OneBox


I spent 3.5 hours Saturday night creating and lightly optimizing a completely new data feed (or bulk upload) to get PersonalProtectionStore’s home security products up and running on Google Base. PersonalProtectionStore uses Yahoo! Merchant Solutions which enabled me to download a catalog and associated information, but it was not in a format compatible with Google Base (superfluous fields in the catalog, non-uniform field names) and the dowload brings with it special characters and HTML code which cause listing errors. Additionally, there are many fields Google Base makes optional which my catalog did not include. These additional fields help with data feed optimization (DFO).

Froogle feed submission used to take a couple days (and a couple iterations) to process correctly, so I was pleasantly surprised to see my feed accepted in less than an hour. More importantly, by the time I checked back early the next morning, my products (and images – this used to be a major issue with Froogle) were up and running. My feed of 153 products consisted of 30 errors which weren’t explained very well, but overall it was a smooth process. [It's important to note that I've submitted hundreds of feeds to multiple engines. There are plenty of people on the Google Base Help Discussion Group having problems.]

Submitting to Google Base gets you listed on Froogle. Being in Google Base or Froogle potentially gets you in the Google Onebox product search results in a regular Google search (just under the Sponsored Links and just above the organic results). Here’s an example for one product in my PersonalProtectionStore feed:

google base results
(Google Base – click on image to view actual search result)

froogle results
(Froogle – click on image to view actual search result)

google onebox results
(Google OneBox – click on image to view actual search result)

While I’ve been critical of Froogle’s Spam problem, and I’m not sure what to make of Froogle’s recent update (more info soon), I did say in early April that it’s time for merchants to submit their feed to Froogle. My 3.5 hour experience only strengthens that argument.

For good or bad, many merchants are completely reliant on Google for sales, obsessing about optimizing their sites for better orgranic listings and feverishly spending on Google Adwords. Just don’t forget about submitting your data feed to Google Base.

If you’re having trouble with the feed, there are many companies which can help you out with feed management: SingleFeed (my company) ChannelAdvisor, ChannelIntelligence, Performics, Mercent, Vendio/Andale, Marketworks, RedZoneGlobal, MerchantAdvantage, etc.

Realted Posts:
Data Feed Creation, Management, Submission, and Optimization Service – June 29, 2006

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4 Responses to Google Base, Froogle, and Google OneBox

  1. lisabbari says:

    One thing that I am a little confused about is when to phase out the Froogle feeds and only send a Google Base feed. I asked my contact at Google and they essentially implied that I could continue to send both. However, I’m not sure if this will at some point have a negative impact on my listings (spamming?). Any insight here?

  2. Brian Smith says:

    According to their FAQs, you’re really supposed to only have one feed. Just to be on the safe side (they don’t want duplicate listings), I’d phase out the Froogle feed. This should also force you to pay closer attention to your Google Base feed…start using those optional fields.

  3. brett says:

    Googlebase isnt perfect but its getting there…Before Gbase, the data feeds to froogle used to take about a week to initially get approved, then, an additional week to actually see products anywhere…usually typing”Store:storename” into froogle. Now with googlebase, I’ve seen initial feeds go up in a couple of hours and updates show in a matter of hours…give the kids at google some more time, they’ll perfect gbase soon.

  4. Paul Salber says:

    Great post, you must be a perl parser wizard. Though our typical client has several thousand products, we also provide data feed management service, and have changed over to Google base too.

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