Bewenched - 3:15 pm on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)
Well back on the subject of how it's working out for us, I started noticing weird things in our server logs starting 2 months back. Like a rash of competitors hot-linking to our images.... weird part was that the url to those images are only in the google shopping feed.
Many dont realize that Google as a Google Shopping API that's open for public use. Small time users of it .. less than 2500 queries a day it's free, after that there is a charge. So I can only assume that competitors were willing to pay the price to get what they wanted.
To stop this from potentially happening you have to go into your Google Merchant, then select data feeds, then select settings under each feed, scroll to the bottom and click the link "Set up advanced feed usage settings" and uncheck Search API for Shopping, but leave "Shopping" checked.
Funny they dont have a "Learn More" link like they do for the "Shopping" setting. It doesn't tell you that anyone can start up a page using the api and show your products....
I noticed when I searched Google for some of my titles that I use in the shopping feed that hundreds of pages were coming up..... and not on the best sites and most running ads as well.... these "sites" were using the shopping feed for their content.... our content.
Yes sometimes it was sears and sometimes some shopping comparison site, but 90% were crap pages that no one would spend more than a second on. I'm surprised that Google doesn't have some setting to let you decide where your content goes..... after all... we're paying to be there.