Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Creating an Item Feed for Google Base

Google is the most popular search engine, and most people use the regular Google search engine when they arrive at the home page. But Google has a lot more to offer. More and more people are searching on Google Products, a shopping search that is part of Google Base. This is a great way to get your items in front of people. Here’s what happened … I was doing my usual SEO stuff, and looked up the results for silver chain. Above the listed sites were three links with pictures. They were not sponsored links like AdWords advertising; they were from Google Products. After checking it out I found info on what it was. This used to be called Froogle. Guess that didn’t work. But this is very cool. I’m seeing big stores up there – Target, Kohls, Wal-Mart … but also some smaller sites. So I decided to try it. Here’s how it works … You need to create a comma delimited text file. For those of you who know how to use Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet program that can save a file in this format, it’s an easy thing to do. Basically, columns and rows … each box is called a cell. Your item information goes into these boxes. If you don’t know how to use it, try asking a friend for a few tips – many people have to use Excel at work. Lots of kids use it in school, too. I set up an Excel file with column headers labeled with the attributes I needed: Item title, description, picture URL, price, page URL, brand name (Jewelry24Seven), condition (new) and (required) expiration date of 31 days – the maximum time allowed. Then I entered my items – I did the chains on my website first – filling in each cell with the attributes of the different chains. When I was done I saved this as a .txt file in a comma delimited format. Name the file something you will be able to find and save it to your My Documents folder. Very easy! Most JET members have a Google account already. If not, register for one. Sign in, and look for the link to Google Base on your account page. First you have to “register” the file (or feed) with them. This process is very easy; basically you are giving them the name of your file. Next comes basic information … URL of your site or Etsy shop, company name etc. Then you get a box with a Browse button to find the file you just saved. Simply find the file and click the Upload button. That’s it! Next thing I knew … my feed was approved! It took about a half hour for the approval confirmation to arrive by email. Approved items are searchable within 24 hours. Next, I’m going to do all the items in my Etsy store! Did I mention … this is FREE!!!??? Try it! Looks like a great way to promote … Bob Edwards Jewelry24Seven Handcrafted Silver Jewelry

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in artisan made silver jewelry and custom sized silver bracelets. This article may be reproduced provided it contains this author's statement and all links remain intact. ©2008 Robert Edwards