Google Base Optimization & Data Feed Optimization

March 28, 2007

The vertical search results on the main shopping engines should not be ignored. We’re all very familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but you can also get to the top of Google through Google Base. I estimate that over 30,000 merchants are taking advantage of Google Base, but only a very small percentage have actually done anything to improve their results on Google Base.

Over at SingleFeed, I discuss the concept of Data Feed Optimization (DFO) to help submitters get listed higher on Google Base and therefore have the opportunity to show up as a Google OneBox result, above Google’s organic listings.

Here’s a summary of the post entitled Google Base & Data Feed Optimization – How to Succeed on Google Base:
-Google Base is for almost anything. You can submit products (which I focus on), job listings, housing listings, recipes, blog posts, personal ads, and more.

-Most product submissions happen through an automated program that only submits the bare minimum requirements. This usually results in mediocre traffic to those listings. Google Base Store Connector and automated XML feed submissions through major ecommerce platforms remind me of the Submit It service of the early Web 1.0 days. Submit It would submit a URL to hundreds of different directories/engines for a small fee, but in my opinion, it didn’t matter if your URL was submitted if the page wasn’t search engine friendly. The same thing goes with data feed submission. Submitting a data feed is just one step. Merchants must optimize the data feed to get significant results.

-Introduction to Google Base Custom Attributes. Google Base has over 80 pre-defined optional product attributes, but will never be the expert in any particular product, so Google Base allow users to submit Custom Attributes. With this extra information, searchers will have a better idea of what the merchant sells and therefore the merchant has a better chance of attracting targeted visitors and converting those visitors into buyers. For example, a ski retailer might add a custom attribute for ‘ski length’ because it’s a critical attribute for a consumer making a ski buying decision. A energy bar retailer might add a custom attribute for ‘ingredients’ because it’s a critical attribute for people with allergies.

-When does Google Base matter? No one currently goes directly to base.google.com, although millions do go to Froogle which is made up of Google Base product listings. Hundreds of millions more go directly to Google and are sometimes exposed to OneBox product results, which are populated through Froogle (via Google Base). I think OneBox results will get a lot more prominent on Google this year. However, Google isn’t going to display just any Google Base listings in that prized OneBox area. The OneBox listings will be reserved for information that is more relevant than anything else on the search engine result page (SERP). Relevance means a lot of things to a lot of people/engines, but Google has already made it clear that the more information you provide to Base, the better your results will be. If a merchant spends time optimizing a feed and adds Custom Attributes, then the data could be more relevant than anything else Google has in its index.


Channel Intelligence Product Attribute Conference

March 28, 2007

As I mentioned in my Google Base Optimization post, I only think a couple companies are seriously talking about data feed optimization (DFO) and really understand the importance of product attributes. One of those companies is Channel Intelligence (the other companies being Channel Advisor and SingleFeed – yes, I’m biased).

Well, if you’re in Orlando Florida on April 26th & 27th, you might want to check out Channel Intelligence’s Product Attribute Summit. I love it. A conference just about the importance of Product Attibutes for data feeds!

One note of caution. Make sure to get detailed information about the speakers and sessions before you register (there are no speakers listed yet). Unfortunately, the last time I saw CI run a session at a conference was at eTail when they basically did a paid advertisement for their product as opposed to providing actionable information for the attendees.


More Management Changes to Report

March 27, 2007

Last night I posted on Search Engine Land about the management changes at Shopping.com (previously reported here), Shopzilla (previously reported here), PriceGrabber (new), and Become (new).

Wanted to add one more:
ShopWiki: CMO Shoshana Zilberberg-Winter & COO Barry Salzman have left the company as ShopWiki got a little ahead of itself with marketing and international expansion and will now re-focus on product development.


Google Base Optimization

March 26, 2007

After giving a number of examples of Google Base Custom Attributes last week over at SingleFeed, it seemed that people wanted more. We’ve had a post in the works about Google Base Optimization through Google Base Custom Attributes for a while, but now seemed like a good time to share it:

Google Base Optimization

Key Takaways:

-Most people are submitting to Google Base through an automated XML feed which is not optimized

-Adding more information to your Google Base feed (bulk upload) might help you get exposure through Google OneBox results

-The more information Google Base gets through feeds which contain Google Base Custom Attributes, the more likely I think Google is to display OneBox results for related search engine queries, as the data provided through the feed will be more relevant than what Google can crawl.

Related Posts:
Google Base – The Comparison Shopping Story of Q1 2007 – January 12, 2007
Google Base Optimization – Why Those Attributes Matter – September 4, 2006


Channel Intelligence Continues to Grow

March 24, 2007

http://channelintelligence.vnewscenter.com/press.jsp?id=1174360655149


TheFind Gets More In Touch With Its Feminine Side

March 24, 2007

Glam Media and TheFind announced a partnership last week in which “Glam will deliver both advertising and content from its Glam Publishers Network to TheFind.com, while TheFind.com gains access to Glam Media’s valuable marketing channels including Glam.com and reach to over 250 publishers in the network such as Marie Claire, Dwell, Nylon, Refinery29, SheFinds and, WeddingSolutions. Today, Glam Media reaches over eight million US unique visitors per month.”

I’m not one for regurgitating press releases, but I like that TheFind has found a niche. Odd saying that female shoppers are a niche, but the big shopping comparison engines – NexTag, Shopping.com, Shopzilla, PriceGrabber, Yahoo! Shopping, etc. – have been everything to everybody for a long time, and I’m not sure that’s an easy idea for shoppers to latch onto. Branding yourself as the biggest or most comprehensive is tough in the age of Amazon, eBay, and Google. I’d much rather hear about the best place for women to search, browse, comment, share, discover and buy.

About a year ago (I think) I told one shopping engine that their focus on technology and comprehensiveness was too much for an ordinary person to get his/her mind around. I recommended that the company go after 1 vertical (dog products, cat products, computer monitors, bbqs, spring dresses, etc.) every couple months. From there, I figured that the engine could acquire loyal users who would eventually discover that the shopping engine wasn’t a one-trick pony.

Women is obviously not really a vertical, but fashion & apparel is, and with the Glam deal – no matter what the implementation turns out to look like – TheFind is taking one high-heeled, well-accessorized, fashionable step towards staking its claim.


An Introduction to Google Base Custom Attributes

March 22, 2007

Not many merchants are using Google Base Custom Attributes (GBCA) yet, but I’ve had a ton of people ask me to provide instructions and more importantly, examples beyond what Google Base has posted.

With that in mind, check out Google Base Custom Attributes – Examples And How To Create over at SingleFeed.


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