Google Product Search – Getting Started

Google Shopping
Google Shopping

Many shop owners are already using Google Base to list their products in Google Product Search, but many are not getting the full advantage the product search platform. Today we have a great video from Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead and some excellent tips to help you better optimize your feeds and product search listings.

Getting started is perhaps the most daunting task for shop owners. Most have no idea what a feed is, much less have the ability to generate a properly formatted feed.

With Zen Cart you have a few module options available.  The first option is the free Numinex Google Base Feed Generator available in the Zen Cart addon repository. For many this will be a cost effective and adequate solution to generate a Google Base feed from your Zen Cart. This is a pretty lightweight module that will submit your products directly from your Zen cart admin (if your hosting configuration allows so). This module will be sufficient for most shop owners with few and simple products.

If your products have a multitude of attribute options and you require more functionality, then the MagneticOne Google Base Feed Generator will offer you a multitude of additional options. The module will allow you to submit additional attribute (<GUID>) in your feed and adds the ability to click tag your urls for easy analysis of your traffic in Google Analytics. The cost is low at $29.00 and the install is quite easy, but many will choose to get started with the free Numinex module and then progress to the more comprehensive paid MagneticOne module.

So whichever you choose to get started with we can offer you some tips to have successful product listings.

  1. Fresh, fresh, fresh. Keep your feeds up to date. Submit regularly, weekly for example and additional updates as needed.
  2. Use great attention grabbing and descriptive information. Google products is going to be all about the relevance, things link backlinks and internal linking will offer no advantage here. Recommend your descriptions are at least 300 characters of fully unique and descriptive language about your products. Your titles short and powerful. Avoid using comma separated phrases in a list format and instead go for very human readable text.
  3. Do not submit products without titles, images or descriptions.
  4. Use the manufacturers UPC where available. Note this is NOT your own UPC, but rather a genuine UPC provided by the manufacturer.
  5. Do not submit rewritten urls, if you are using a rewrite module then submit the proper standard urls to avoid failed page loads and slow loading of your products.
  6. Price, many will see that the aggregated results in Google shopping can be very sensitive to pricing. So I offer this bit of advice: If you can compete with the price wars, then by all means do so… If you cannot, then use specifically UNIQUE product titles so that your results are not aggregated as the same product as everyone else selling the same widget.
  7. Lastly, when you are submitting your feeds… Just like regular Google search, you need to be adding products and making changes to let Google know the lights are on and you are home. Stores with the same unchanged products week after week will not perform as well as those that have a changing inventory and content… Which are clearly well maintained websites.

The video below by Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead, is a little over 9 minutes long and very helpful to beginners and more experienced shop owners.