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Current Thoughts on Google Shopping?

   
5:39 am on Jan 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Can't explain why, but we've never used Froogle/Google Base/Merchant Center. Seems that not many sellers in our niche use it either. Perhaps low-ball pricing of some sellers may discourage others.

Anyway, tonight I trudged into the instructions for submitting a feed and uploaded about 100 products. I'm told it takes hours for something to happen, perhaps to show up in searches.

Do you all utilize the Google Shopping search engine? How effective is it? If you don't use it, why not? Any tips?
6:15 pm on Jan 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Do you all utilize the Google Shopping search engine?


Yes, we submit a feed and allow customers to use Google Checkout as a payment option.

How effective is it?


Not nearly as effective as we were hoping. Results are mixed at this point.
2:28 pm on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Our experience with it has been that it performed very low, so we stopped doing it.
I think it's probably time to revisit it though.

CPC_Andrew,
I'll give you some tips on optimizing your Google Shopping data feed.
Would you please? Any help would be appreciated.
3:05 pm on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Looking at it from a consumer perspective I really started using Google Shopping the past year.

Again from my consumer perspective.. what I like most about it is a fast price comparison on specific product across 100 or more different retailers.

I then take maybe the 5 best prices and THEN do a more in depth look/review of each retailer offering the product to make final decision.


I will say this..if you have just a generic landing page and your site looks like a generic "Store".. I will buy from the amazon Store even if it cost me a couple bucks more.

Brand Your Store..
3:37 pm on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



if you're a huge brand with loads of reviews and more, you'll love it.

use it to try and find something and you'll see how few stores listings come up. that said, the traffic's free - so if you're small, maybe a dozen free clicks a day would help. they are targeted and have seen your product and price, really great traffic to get. but you're not gonna get much of it if your brand name isn't one most everyone already knows.
4:05 pm on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)



Google Product Search tip of the day: optimize your product_type attribute and increase traffic.

Google does a great job explaining the product_type attribute and how to populate your fields with their taxonomy here:

[google.com...]

After reading about the product_type attribute, scroll down and browse the taxonomy. Find the category that best describes your product(s) and use it to populate your products.

Make sure to pick the best product_type for each individual product. Try to stay away from lumping all of your products into "electronics" or "music" - be as specific as possible.

This is because the more specific product_type you drill down to, the more focused Google can be in sending qualified traffic to your products, which = increased conversions. The product_type attribute is acting sort of like bumpers on a bowling alley.

Check out the formatting text below the taxonomy as well for more important tips if your product lies in two categories.

Let me know if i can help clarify any of this. :)
7:01 am on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



CPC_Andrew, thanks for the tip and that link. I had fed a bunch of our products to G but didn't know what they wanted for "Product_type" so I used a single broad term for each, say, "Books."

Now I'm using something like, "Media > Books > Non-Fiction > Sports Books" as G recommends.

----
After just a few days, the results have been quite skimpy for the work involved, but impressions and clicks picked up today. I'm now seeing a few of our products showing up in searches. But I doubt if we've sold a thing due to our inclusion in Google Shopping yet.
6:10 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)



jsinger - nice! Every little bit helps. You're probably already doing this but electronics / books / media products have unique product identifier requirements now.

Google's new product requirements:

[googlemerchantblog.blogspot.com...]
10:15 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



We've been using it with great results since it's inception. We've always had a good number of sales from G Shopping and very positive ROI considering the fact that it's free. Even if you don't get great sales from it (niche / price dependent) it's still another way to establish branding and the feature is built in to most current cart software.

I would make use of all search results within G, weather it be organic, images, news, video, shopping, & PPC.
3:02 am on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



That's quite a split of opinion on the value of Google Merchant Search. Main agreement is the price is right... Free.

After about 10 days, we've put most of our products on it and the impressions and clicks we're getting have leveled off so I feel ready to chime in with my opinion.

Only positive thing is I find it a hoot to see our products come up in product searches on very rare occasion. Otherwise I don't foresee G Product Search "ringing the register" or "buying baby a new pair of shoes." The traffic just isn't there.

Would I pay for it? No way, but I've done the work, figured out the feed method and have it running. So we can coast with it for awhile. (I do understand that we have to send G a new feed every month).
8:14 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



jsinger, do you run google ads? If yes, the google data feed is nice because you can tie it to your google ads account and it will pull in pics and pricing for certain keywords.
3:15 am on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



ssgumby, thanks for the tip on linking our Merchant center photos with our Adwords ads, which is very easily done.

After 30 minutes I haven't spotted any of our photos in Adwords. Probably takes 6 to 24 hours to be fully implemented like other Merchant Search changes we've done.
4:10 am on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)



Great tip ssgumby. More info on the Google Product Listing Ads: [adwords.blogspot.com...]
10:44 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I've had a great deal of success with Google Merchant Center driving both a significant amount of traffic and conversions.

Some simple tips:

-try to price under your competition in the same space, even if only by $0.01 as lots of users sort by ascending price
-use the "custom" fields available to add additional keywords to the feed e.g. if you have a suitcase and the color in the description is "espresso" add a filed for the color and use the value "brown". More people will search for "brown luggage" than "espresso luggage"
-get reviews! especially from Google checkout customers but there are several other sources that Google uses as well.
-age of the account matters so be patient with the rankings
-once the format of the feed is created try not to change it too much. Changes seem to knock the traffic down for days to weeks. That the format of the feed itself not adding and removing specific items.
-don't get disappointed by not getting your results to show in universal search. For the past year those results have been dominated by the big brands.
11:02 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)



Great tips robdwoods.
12:02 am on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I think the feed can be very worthwhile in certain verticals. When I was at an e-commerce company I had the feed driving about 40K-50K visits per month at a conversion rate about 60%-70% of what I'd see from organic traffic. You definitely need to give it time to rank and go after reviews in a big way.
3:49 am on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Traffic isn't huge, but it's worth being on there. It still seems to be heavily dominated by big brands. But I'll take any traffic they want to give and it seems most carts have something in place to quickly export your store's feed.
6:11 pm on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)



It's not my part of the ship, but sending a new feed every month wasn't always necessary was it? On sites where data changes, we would - but on sites where I have been selling the same product at the same proce for a decade... I may have to trudge again!
6:22 pm on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)



Might be a good time to enhance your titles / descriptions with qualified keyword data you've been compiling over the years for better access on the shopping engine.
7:52 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Do you all utilize the Google Shopping search engine?
Have been following it's use since it's inception (froogle).

How effective is it?
Just another source of traffic/income.

If you don't use it, why not?
As mentioned, it's not the ultimate. Takes some time to tweak and manage, and you need to be competitive too.

Any tips?
Read what others have to say, but do your own testing.
 

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