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New Requirements for Froogle

we will no longer list items that don't meet a minimal number of attributes

     
9:02 pm on Jan 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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From Email today

< Froogle merchants are being asked, by the end of February, to use bulk uploads in the Google Base format and to include five additional attributes -- or else they will no longer be listed. >

Apparently this will affect all users. All feeds will have to include the following:

brand
condition
description
expiration_date
id
image_link
link
price
product_type
title

Via:

[base.google.com...]

edited to paraphrase the email
See Terms of Service [webmasterworld.com] #9

[edited by: tedster at 2:31 am (utc) on Feb. 1, 2007]

3:57 pm on Feb 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We have several thousand products listed. Our biggest hurdle with the new attributes - many of our items are hand crafted with no brand name or product id #. Expiration date? Only if our artists expire!
4:12 pm on Feb 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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expiration_date is a strange one, particularly if you manage lots of products but hand edit the field!

They also warn that the ID field must never change. Hmmmm. What happens if a manufacturer changes the part number?

4:50 pm on Feb 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I was distressed about the "Brand". I have proprietary manufacturers and some are unknown to my competition. This would only reveal our secrets.

We also sell some gadgets that aren't the same "brand". The gadgets are the same but not the "brand". You know where companies purchase something and put their name on the label - it's the exact same item but a different label.

So, what do you think about a generic term, like "Varies based on availability."

7:47 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Between all of our clients for whom we feed Froogle, we have about 25,000 listings currently. We're probably going to take them all out now with these new requirements. They don't fit any of the products or listings that we currently have (many products are made in Asia and don't have a 'brand' per se - certainly expiration dates don't apply, etc.), we don't seem to get much out of it anyway, and it sure appears that Froogle doesn't really want any of the listings anyway, otherwise they wouldn't put such restrictions on it. Too bad, because I have other catalog type clients who wanted in, but this just isn't a good fit anymore.
7:56 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Neither brand or expiration date fit our products very well either. So I uploaded the feed with those columns in the header but empty values, and got no complaints. All products successfully listed. We'll see whether that sticks when they go "strict".
9:11 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Wonder how much they'll hate it when we start listing certain products as "proprietary" for 'brand?'

I see lots of bigger companies listing things that way. Or using "popular brand" as the brand name, and never really listing the actual name.

2:31 am on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't see what the big deal is for brand. Just put your brand?
2:35 am on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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For those who have no true brand name, I suspect that your store name can be used as the brand, i.e. they are 'own brand'.
2:58 am on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Besides the expiration date there is little difference from what we already send to Amazon. I don't understand the problem with Brand. Brand yourself.

I'll make the changes, and hopefully my competitors won't.. OK, wishful thinking. I don't get that much business from Froogle, but I don't like the idea of giving up the exposure when I can easily add a few more data items per record.

2:53 pm on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In our case, it's not that we don't use well-known brands - we have multiple brands for each product. It depends on which option is selected, and what's in stock at the time. So for us, "popular brand" sounds like a good choice if it has to be not empty in the future. That's about as specific as I could reasonably get, and it would at least be true.
3:18 pm on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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wtkad - is it not possible, in your case, to list all your brands separately? That means you will be in the price comparison for each and every brand. Can't see many people comparing the price for 'popular brand' widgets...
3:39 pm on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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> Can't see many people comparing the
> price for 'popular brand' widgets...

This reminds me of eBay's Item Specfics. Google is taking the easy way out by making us submit data fields so they can have pretty listings. They could have just as well invested in more technology to parse descriptions and categorize properly based on their title and/or descriptions.

5:27 pm on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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wtkad - is it not possible, in your case, to list all your brands separately? That means you will be in the price comparison for each and every brand. Can't see many people comparing the price for 'popular brand' widgets...

In the case of my client with the largest number of listings, that wouldn't really be appropriate - all the pricing is pretty much the same, the 'brand' or manufacturer or vendor is selected at the time of purchase, depending who has what and can ship when.

5:38 pm on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We have a problem with the product_types too. Pretty much NONE of them apply (the list on Google says it's "incomplete" - are we supposed to guess?), and the ones that do - some of those require other fields as well. We just can't upload thousands of products this way. We don't have the time or the manpower.
2:30 pm on Feb 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Does anybody have a link or additional information regarding a "complete" list of product_types?
7:19 pm on Feb 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I contacted the Google team to find out about a complete list of product_types this is what they replied: that there's no list of all product types, and that the list at [base.google.com...] was only to give ideas, and you can create your own product type.

< Edit reason: Italicised section paraphrased from email quote, see terms of service #9 [webmasterworld.com] >

[edited by: encyclo at 10:31 pm (utc) on Feb. 9, 2007]

12:00 am on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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At least one "optional" fields in Google Base is required if you accept Google Checkout. For example, the details for the quantity field says: This attribute can be left out if you have a large quantity or it is not applicable, however you must include a value to use Google Checkout.

Another PITA field will be shipping. If we charge shipping based on weight and zones, a flat shipping field like shipping will not be helpful to us. We can state zone 8 prices to be on the safe side, but that will make any local customers see a high shipping price which could make us seem less competitive even though the customer will pay less for shipping.

3:24 pm on Feb 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We are selling photography equipment, however, they require now to have in the feed "Product_Type" values for i.e. a color for each camera etc, which we don't have that data in our database. Is there anyway I can get this info? Any suggestions?

Thanks
Abe