What is it?
Froogle is Google's new product search engine. Froogle was launched [webmasterworld.com] on December 11th 2002 and went live on the main Google SERPS December 5th 2003 [webmasterworld.com]. Froogle sorts results in categories within a directory structure. Only English language stores that sell in USD are supported at this time. Froogle does not accept affiliate sites.
How do I get products listed in Froogle?
There are 2 ways to get your products listed in Froogle.
Googlebot will automatically detect web pages that offer items for sale. Although these pages are likely to be included, Froogle sometimes doesn't do a very good job of matching the price, description, and image to a specific product. Products that are found by Googlebot are also ranked lower than products that have been submitted via a feed.
2) Submit a data feed [services.google.com].
The data feed is a simple tab-delimited text file that contains information about the products you sell. Currently, Froogle requests the following to be included.
- The product URL
- The product name
- The product description
- The product price
- The URL for the image of the product
- The product category (using your sites category structure)
The information you provide in your feed must be the same as the content visible on your site. The description and prices you submit in the data feed must be the same as the description and price on your product URL page.
You submit your feed to Froogle via FTP.
How often can I submit a feed?
You can submit daily, weekly or monthly. You must submit at least once a month or your products will automatically expire from Froogle. To make life easier, consider having a script bolted on to your shopping cart. For example, I have a system that strips all of the html from my product descriptions and generates the feed and sends it to Froogle with one click. You can see your new product feed information in Froogle within hours. To verify that your feed has been included, type "store:your_froogle_username"
Why are there so many Yahoo stores in Froogle?
Yahoo stores have a feature that allows for product information to be shared with third parties via XML. If this feature is set within the Yahoo store, Google treats it like a data feed.
How do I get my products to rank higher in Froogle?
- The category that Froogle places your product into plays a significant role. I think that Froogle uses a combination of the product name, description and the category from your site structure to determine which category your product will be placed in. I think it is safe to assume that the technology Google acquired with Applied Semantics [google.com] plays a role in how this is done.
- Submit a data feed. By default, products sent to Froogle via feed sit above products that are found through the regular crawl.
- Froogle shows results a couple of different ways. The first are the 3 results that sit above the regular SERPS marked as "Product search." The first result is almost always the product that has the lowest price within the category that Froogle determines best matches the query. Get the red pen out and mark it down.
- The regular Froogle results are ranked much the same way, except price is not a determining factor in the default search. Vanilla SEO rules the day here I believe. Play around with product names, and descriptions to find what works best for you. Because you can tweak and submit, you should be able to see a pattern emerge in the categories you are playing with in short order. Page rank might play a role, I haven't checked, having dumped the toolbar a while back.
Clearly, other factors are involved and I look forward to the lively discussions at WebmasterWorld in regards to how Froogle ranks products.
I am of the opinion that Froogle is going to be huge. The only thing that is missing is the "shop" tab on the Google home page, and It's coming folks.
[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 4:12 pm (utc) on Dec. 16, 2003]
[edit reason] member edit request [/edit]
Good Post pmac
Being very new to Froogle, and just near the end of completing a data feed ready for submission, it should be interesting to see where we come up with the different descriptions and category's
From this article [internetnews.com].
Craig Nevill-Manning, the technical lead on Froogle says:
|Froogle uses the same page ranking system as Google. |
Thanks for the post, pmac, very nice.
>> The category that Froogle places your product into plays a significant role.
Yes, I will *speculatively* agree.
One: If you search within a category and your site/products are not in that category, your products will not be appear in a search.
Two: In a regular froogle search, I think it does play a role in ranking. I recently had my products changed to a different category because we weren't showing up within searches in that category. After the category change, not only are we listed in searches within that category, our ranking improved for KW phrases in the regular search. No other changes were made besides the category change.
I have more specualtion to contribute, I'll get it organized and do so soon.
Added: pmac - It looks like this forum is going to need a moderator soon. Any chance that you're considering it;)?
Good to hear mona. How did you get the category changed?
"google does not accept affiliates"
How is affiliate defined? We provide service to a number of stores operating through the same shopping cart with different domains owned by different shopkeepers. We maintain the servers and shopping cart technology, and do the fulfillment of the orders for the different stores. The home page and a few informational about us type pages is unique on each site. The rest of the content on over 15,000 pages is the same aside from the company logos, names and color schemes. Would these be seen as affiliates? Any thoughts on this appreciated.
I have always used the category that fits best from Froogle and not my own site.
In that case I can change the category in the feed and Froogle will update it and list it in the new section.
>> How did you get the category changed?
I e-mailed Support and asked them how. Here's part of the reply "I changed a setting so your products will start appearing in the (widgets) category the next time you upload a data feed." They didn't say there was a way to pick/change the category myself, so I'm guessing they have to do it? But...
>> In that case I can change the category in the feed and Froogle will update it and list it in the new section.
Conard, you found a way to list your products in a specific category yourself? Did I miss this somewhere in the datafeed info they send?
I just use the Froogle category in the feed.
In my feed it's the next to last entry for the product right before "Product Code".
So for a womans clothing accessory it would be:
Apparel & Accessories > men's > Women's Example
I set my first feed up that way and they approved it and I've been doing it that way since.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 6:50 pm (utc) on Jan. 7, 2004]
[edit reason] widgetized [/edit]
Thanks for the post. Wasn't familiar with that "store:your_froogle_username" syntax.
great post pmac!
As I'm not a commercial guy ,I didn't know Frrogle very well, but now I do!
"The product category (using your sites category structure"
I understand its easyer for the website admin
well for google it would be easer if everyone uses there categories, and you don't have the problem under which category will my products list,
Thanks for the nice post pmac!
Good information. Am I the only one that thinks its odd that a product comparison search would not place a hefty weight on price in their results?
Great post Pmac.
Though Yahoo! Stores, BidVille & others , have a direct/auto feed from their stores - sometimes the quality of the results are poor. I've seen instances where Froogle doesn't display the product image (even if there is a prominent image). So the best way (by far) is to submit a feed.
Patrick, though price is an important criteria it’s not all. Context & relevance is probably the highest importance. Other factors would be “importance (read PR)” of merchant and diversity of results. As Pmac pointed out – Froogle ranking is very similar to Google’s own ranking algo. In any case, once the shopper has narrowed down his choices, he can sort by price.
Actually, I have found several examples of pages ranking very well in Froogle for competitive terms that are not even indexed by Google and are PR 0.
Today sealed it for me. Pagerank has nothing to do with how Froogle ranks pages.
Brand new page, no inbounds at all (the page was ceated for Froogle)
Ranks number 1 for very competitive word.