Sell Products? Do This

I’ve said it before, but it amazes me how many online retailers don’t submit their products to Google Base. It’s free, they support a slew of formats (upload products one at a time, upload a spreadsheet, or auto-FTP from your database like we do), and it gets your products shown on Google Base, Google Product Search, and – most importantly – normal Google searches.

Take the example below (click to view full size screenshot). When someone searches for Men-U Healthy Face Wash, a product we sell on Tastefully Driven, Google automatically recognizes the query as a product search and displays Google Product Search results above the natural results. Sure it’s below the high performing PPC ads, but those people are paying for those impressions/clicks. The natural results have been organically grown over the course of years with expensive and time consuming link building and on-site SEO. All I did was spend 15 minutes submitting a product feed last week. As an added bonus Google gives you impression/click-through data for products listed (imagine how cool it would be if they did this for organic results?). Seems unfair huh? Take advantage of it while it lasts…I know we are.

Google Base

7 comments on Sell Products? Do This

  1. Adam Gilbert says:

    That’s why when you write your book it’ll be do really well.

    And 2 posts in one day? I love it.

  2. Adam McFarland says:

    Thanks Adam. The whole ‘2 posts in one day’ thing is totally unplanned. I pretty much randomly post whenever I feel compelled to do so…which might be twice a week or twice a day. I’ve tried pre-planning posts before, but it’s not as fun that way :)

  3. Brian Lash says:

    Haha, love the visual. It’s great because it’s true.

    This is great… I admit I haven’t used Google Base in the past but your reminder’s just what I needed to “get on my horse” and just try it already.

  4. [...] also got the Froogle feed setup…another thanks to Adam’s post about this. It went pretty smoothly thanks to an automatic Google Base submit feature in the newest [...]

  5. [...] also got the Froogle feed setup…another thanks to Adam’s post about this. It went pretty smoothly thanks to an automatic Google Base submit feature in the newest [...]

  6. Rob says:

    I realise this post is quite old, but I’m commenting here so that hopefully the information is in a relevant place for anyone who might stumble upon it…

    On DI your images have text on them, but I think the Google feed spec now prohibits any kind of text on the images – https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/2700371 (…)names and/or logos of merchants regardless of whether the above-mentioned elements overlay the product. This also applies to watermarks with promotional elements or names and/or logos of merchants.(…).
    It looks from comparing an image on your site to an image on your Google shopping results that you have a second set of images for each product that does not feature the URL watermark, is that correct?
    I found that a load of my products recently got disapproved and I think this is why – of course it’s much more difficult for those of us not rocking a fully custom cart to supply Google with one set of images and users with another, but I’m also not completely comfortable putting un-watermarked images out there when I’ve put time and effort into creating them.

    FYI – one of your competitors, seems to have a star-rating next to their shopping results, which I think is coming via http://www.shopperapproved.com/reviews/competitor url]

    • Adam McFarland says:

      Good questions Rob. Lately they’ve made a lot of changes and are a lot more strict with their guidelines. Their customer service does a pretty good job notifying you and helping you through any violations though. And keeping up with their blog is a must to make sure we’re taking advantage of everything they offer ( http://googlecommerce.blogspot.com/ ).

      It looks from comparing an image on your site to an image on your Google shopping results that you have a second set of images for each product that does not feature the URL watermark, is that correct?

      Yea we were pretty pissed when we got disapproved for this reason. We actually decided to programatically crop out the watermark. Not ideal but it took a few hours vs reshooting images or manually editing in Photoshop. I do feel bad for retailers that had to do this manually or who would prefer to keep their watermark.

      We’ve had products disapproved for a lot of other minor violations. It’s always frustrating because when they change the rules you have to change your business. And now you’re paying per click instead of getting clicks for free like you used to.

      FYI – one of your competitors, seems to have a star-rating next to their shopping results

      This is another one that grinds my gears lol. We got approved to be in the rating program for individual products, but Google wanted us to switch our reviews to 1 – 5 stars instead of “Would you buy this item again? Y/N”. Aside from the fact that we have 7 years of reviews that way, we believe that’s more accurate so we decided not to switch and stick with what works for us. But it probably does hurt us in the results a bit.

      As far as rating the merchant itself, there are several services out there like the one you linked to that Google will recognize. They all seem rather expensive and they all want you to push/harass your customers to leaving reviews on their sites. Personally I’d rather focus on pushing our customers to buy again with us, contact us if they need help, follow us on social media, etc.

      They also have Google Trusted Stores, but that integration also seemed over the top to us. Maybe down the road.

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