Google Base or Froogle? Google Base…sort of

The Google Base Guide (from the Google Base Help Discussion Group) “strongly suggest[s] that you update your Bulk Uploads to include the new Google Base attributes. Doing so will not only help to ensure that your bulk uploads process correctly, but will also add additional structure to your data,” according to the post from October 23.

While I switched to the Google Base attributes back in July (a month after Google recommended to do so) and have been recommended the same for all merchants, I’m not sure this has been the best advice.

Unfortunately, the Product Search OneBox results at the top of Google’s main search engine results page (SERP) lists Froogle items, not Google Base items. In other words, all the work everyone has done to switch to the Google Base format and optimize for Google Base is great, but Google Base gets no traffic. Merchants who didn’t make the change have been much better off.

So the question to the Google Base Guide is…when are the Google OneBox results going to reflect Google Base listings as opposed to Froogle listings? News came out of the PESA meeting in SF last month that Google would start pushing Base listings, but so for, I haven’t seen any changes. And in case you weren’t sure…the holiday shopping season is here…now.

2 Responses to Google Base or Froogle? Google Base…sort of

  1. umopapisdn says:

    I think someone may have missed a memo or three. Ever since the introduction of Google Base and the transition from Froogle Merchant feeds to Google Base feeds, any product information uploaded to Google Base automatically appear IN Froogle. Think of it this way. Froogle allowed product information to be uploaded with a limited set of information. Google Maps (Local) allowed business information to be uploaded with a limited set of information. More and more Google “verticals” were allowing users to upload their own information for inclusion in the vertical. Rather than managing these different sets of feeds, Google created Google Base – the generalized place to upload all sorts of information in a common format. Google Base also expanded the sheer amount of information you can provide and how this information can be organized. Therefore, I say again, if you are uploading products to Google Base, these appear on Froogle.

    So, wondering why Google is asking everyone to upload using the Google Base format, then wondering why Google is not sending everyone to Google Base is missing the point. Google Base is for UPLOADING content, not VIEWING content. This is why they removed the search box from Google Base, because Google Base is not meant to be a destination for browsers… it is a destination for information PROVIDERS. This information is then distributed to Google’s various vertical systems.

    The transition away from Froogle that Google talked about was not a transition from Froogle searches to Google Base searches… it is a transition from Froogle searches to searches. The plan is to make it so that product searches on provide users with a direct way to filter and sort to find products rather than just being led to as a secondary destination. Do a search on for HOMES and you will see what I mean. An extra box appears allowing users to refine their search. The data comes from Google Base. Do another search for JOBS. You see? Google doesn’t need to bother creating a JOBS SEARCH site and a HOMES SEARCH site when they can do everything within as the search engine for everything. Google Base provides this information and is considered the generic secondary vertical. However, in regards to products… again… any products uploaded to Google Base automatically appear on Froogle. So, the only difference between uploading directly to Froogle or using the Froogle feed format… and uploading to Google Base… was that Google Base allows you to provide richer product information and, as a result, will allow users to better refine their choices.

    Traditionally, the holiday shopping season begins the day after Thanksgiving… so anyone who has been waiting for a miraculous change well before then might be jumping the gun a little. Just my two cents. 😉

  2. […] Listings Almost Here? Posted by Brian Smith at October 29th, 2006 After my post last week and Ina Steiner’s echoing of my th […]

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