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Does anyone have experience, good or bad? Could save me a lot of time, or make me a lot of money!
- store the last time we pulled a Base/Froogle feed, and alert us when it's close to expiration (feeds only live in Base/Froogle 30 days.)
- click a single link to create a feed in the required formats (30 sec.)
- Link displays, click to download (10-20 sec.)
- Log in to Base, upload feeds (3-5 minutes)
When it comes close to expiration, it takes about 5-10 minutes to keep the feeds updated. Time well spent. If should only take a developer an hour or two to set up the routines to do this.
The exception is if your feeds exceed 10 MB (G's limitation,) then you have to deal with FTP.
As with just about anything Google, ranking seems to be related to time. Items I've had on Google base for most of the year rank well, while new items take a while before they make their way up the relevancy ladder.
One client of mine boosted sales significantly with Base. They already had excellent search positioning, but since their prices are almost always lower than all other competitors, the piece showing the price comparisons has been great for them.
If you are more expensive than competitors, you may not see much extra benefit. And the Base model doesn't fit all types of searches. But it's certainly worth a try and you could find yourself with a decent amount of highly qualified traffic.
Have the feed automated for Google to come by every morning and get the latest feed. I'm not sure why you would manually do the process, since it could also lead to stale data. Setting up a feed took 1 hour of a developers time - very small investment.
If the ecommerce pack you are using does not have that, then it might be more of a pain.
We get probably 5% or so of our sales from them.
Google base is free, while you'd otherwise end up paying commission or paying for ads.
Which may be why Google never really promoted it ;)
Maybe it will really take off in These Troubled Times.
Make sure you have your tax and shipping set up in your settings. Make sure your titles are good use abbreviations and spell out the abbreviations. Use as many of the attributes as you can.
One thing I ran into was that my first successful submission was taken down 12 hours after I put it up. I think it was because I did not have my tax and shipping setting set up. Once I did that and resubmitted it is working fine now.
It is worth the trouble.
Something that is not discussed enough.
the more and more I read the more it bugs me. I have optomised my feed tons and yet im 50th on the list.
Its not like my product is not relevant because google gives me top ppc position most days and organic I was top but back down to 3rd position now.
I expect to bounce back up though.
It seems like a tombola of results to me.
I generally find in Google Universal Search, the 3 items it lists are 1) The most expensive, 2) The cheapest, 3) One somewhere in the middle, so if you can use that to your advantage, go for it.
I also find that the companies who dominate shopping listings have a high number of seller ratings, so get rated on shopzilla, ciao, pricegrabber, shopping etc etc
My feed is also scheduled to be picked up every 7 days instead of the 30, the way I view it, if Google likes fresh content, then it will like a fresh feed aswell.
I'm anticipating a bit of a drop in base referrals since the new Google algorithm change aswell (that favours big brands over the smaller guys) - my preliminary research has shown that bigger brands are already getting a boost both organically and in shopping results
Final point: I was always told to be as descriptive as possible, and to be honest this worked against me. Now I only provide generally what customers want to know and I get better results now.
Enough rambling from me!
I've been using Froogle/Google Base for a couple of years now and I think it's awesome. I pretty much make a living there the way others make a living on ebay or some other fee based sites.
I think adding Google Checkout to the mix will help alot because the Checkout badge will help you stand out among those that do not have one. Also, Google checkout will bring in ratings for you also.
I also agree with an automated feed. I upload every day but I do believe the 7 day method is better because there appears to be, and this may be my imagination, a 2 - 3 hour lag in sales while the records are being indexed.
gregp85, I agree with you on the descriptive part. I've been telling people for a year now that it amazes me how much merchandise I sell with 1. no image and 2. no description. I just plug in the part or sku number where the description would normally be.
Anyway, does anyone know of any good sites that operate the way google base does. I guess, I wouldn't mind paying a commission but I'm still opposed to listing fees and PPC. I wouldn't even mind listing fees if they weren't on a per item basis.
I tag the urls for Analytics to make sure I can measure performance.
Seems to work very well with both B2C and B2B clients, and once the scripts are set up to feed from the stores, it pretty much runs itself. Can't beat that with a stick.
Occasionally Google throws in a monkey wrench like messing with the categories (some of my clients have products that don't easily fit) but overall, I recommend it for everyone.
There's a pretty cool tool that Google mentions in their help files that let's you compare your feed against others. It shows a lot more info from the actual feed than you normally see.
I've used this to try and figure out how some of my competitors are outranking me and for the life of me, I still can't see it.
Sometimes the top sites have reviews, other times no. Sometimes they use Google Checkout, other times no.
Sometimes they use the exact phrase in their title/description other times no.
Sometimes they use a lot of other feed attributes, other times no.
Just can't nail it down.