Shopping.com Feed Spec Changes

Shopping.com has announced new feed specifications that will be enforced on 9/1/11.

Stock Availability will now be a required field. We will make this a required field in Feed Perfect beginning on 8/31/11.

The following fields will be not be supported after 9/1 and will be removed from Feed Perfect:

Subcategory Name, Style, Department, Sport or Activity, Team, League, Fan Gear Type, Software Category, Cell Phone Type, Cell Phone Usage Profile, Height Unit of Measure, Product Height, Width Unit of Measure, Product Width, Length Unit of Measure, Product Length.

If you are currently submitting a feed to Shopping.com, please switch to the new version Shopping.com v3.21 as soon as possible to ensure your listings stay active.

Map Google Product Categories in Feedperfect

As you may know Google has changed the requirements to the Google Product Search Feed Specification and Policies. One of these significant changes is the addition of the Google Product Category field. This new attribute contains the category of the product according to Google’s product taxonomy.  Google Product Category will be required for all items that belong to the “Apparel and Accessories”, “Media”, and “Software” categories. It is also highly recommended for all other categories.

You can now categorize your items for Google in Feed Perfect.

If you are already submitting the “product type” attribute, please continue to do so. Google Product Category is included in addition to, not as a replacement for the product type attribute. The difference between the two is that product type attribute contains the category of the product according to your taxonomy and Google Product Type contains the category of the product according to Google’s product taxonomy.

If you have any questions about this, or anything related to the Comparison Shopping Search Engines, please feel free to email us feedperfectblog@solidcactus.com.

Amazon Product Ads is Offering $75 in Free Clicks

If you’re thinking about expanding your Comparison Shopping Engine activity, or just want to get into a new marketing channel, Amazon Product Ads is now opening up to more categories, and when you click on our link here, you’ll get started with $75 in free clicks. Amazon Product Ads is Amazon’s cost per click comparison shopping engine. The general difference between Amazon Product Ads and the Amazon Marketplace is that with the Marketplace the shopper’s entire buying process, from search to purchase, stays on Amazon. However, with Amazon Product Ads a shopper finds your product on Amazon, clicks on a product ad and then is directed to your web store where they can purchase your product. As with any cost per click Comparison Shopping Engine, when you put attention in and use better tools to manage your Amazon Product account, you’ll see better results.

Recently, Amazon Product Ads have opened up their category restrictions. They are now accepting product ads in the following categories: Baby, Computers, Electronics, Grocery, Health & Beauty, Home, Home Improvement, Jewelry, Musical Instruments, Office, Pet Supplies, Shoes, Sports, Toys and Watches. If you’d like to try out Amazon Product ads, sign up by clicking on our link and Amazon Product Ads will start you off with $75 in free clicks.

Staying on Top of Some Changes Google Will Be Making

The Google Merchant Center has made some changes yet again. Some of these additions will be required, while others will only help your data’s quality.

You can find their press release about it here: http://googlemerchantblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/important-changes-to-google-product.html

Summary:
These changes will take place on 9/22/11.

  • A New Google Product Category – This is a new attribute field they’ve added in addition (separate from) to the google product type attribute.
  • An Image for every product – One image is now required for every item, and Google can now accept up to 10 additional images per item.
  • Availability is now required – Google will now accept your item even if its out of stock.
  • Apparel Category – There are some changes to the apparel / clothes category where google is now asking that you include attributes like Size, Color, Gender, and Age Group for any item that comes in variations. IE Shoes that come in multiple colors.
  • Google will be checking feeds for accuracy and have noted they will be taking action against accounts that violate their standards. The basic part I took from this is that the price advertised on the CSE needs to be the price on the page.
  • Feedperfect is currently being updated to accept these changes.

If you have any questions about this, or anything related to CSEs please feel free to email me. feedperfectblog@gmail.com

A New Filter Could Be Hiding Your Products On Google Product Search

I was running into an issue with one of my clients’ entire product lines not displaying on Google’s Product Search.  I am going to take a moment to explain why the items weren’t displaying, and help prevent some headaches if some of your items have recently disappeared too.

The item my client sells are Enesco “Growing Up Girls” Figurines.  In the Google Merchant Center everything was correct:  All of his UPC’s were entered, he had all his brands populated, as well as all of his MPN’s. There were no tell-tale signs as to why this entire product line was not displaying for any of his shoppers.

After troubleshooting a bit, I figured out why no one was able to view his items: Google’s new SafeSite Search Filter.  Even if you are not logged into a Google account, by default, Google is now moderately filtering all search results.  This is for both product searches, as well as regular web searches.  This is why the items were not displaying.  It was because a “Growing Up Girls Blonde Age 14 Figurine” was enough to get filtered out.

I contacted Google to see if they could simply just turn the items back on. Here was their reply:

“If you feel that your item has been incorrectly categorized as adult, we recommend removing any mature language or content from your item. However, as our results aren’t biased by human intervention, we’re unable to provide guidelines for making specific items appear when SafeSearch is enabled.”

So this is something to be aware of if your items can be misconstrued as adult content.  In order to stay in front of the majority of Google Product Search users, you will need to reword your content to get around the Safe Search filters.
Google’s other suggestion was to turn off SafeSearch.

To turn the SafeSearch filter off:

1)      Hit the Cog Icon in the upper right corner of Google.com

2)      Click “Search settings”

3)      Scroll to the SafeSearch options, and choose “Do not filter my search results”

4)      Click Save at the bottom of the page.

Good luck, and if you have any questions on this, or anything comparison shopping engine related, please feel free to email me at  feedperfectblog@gmail.com.

Use Google Analytics with Feedperfect

Today I am going to show you how you can incorporate your google analytics account to track your feedperfect data.

1) First log into feedperfect, and click Settings to go to your feed settings page.

2) Click Edit on a feed you wish to see in google analytics.

*Today I am going to edit my Google Product Search feed as an example.

3) Past the following tracking Tag into the Tracking Parameters Field

&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=CSE&utm_campaign=FeedPerfect

That’s all there is to it.  For the other feeds just replace the word Google with which ever CSE it is.

For example:

&utm_source=Amazon&utm_medium=CSE&utm_campaign=FeedPerfect

Now I will show you where in Google Analytics your information will display.

1) Log in to your Google Analytics Account.

2) On the left side Click Traffic Sources


3) Now Click All Traffic Sources

4) Search by typing CSE and click Go

There is your Feedperfect Data.  You can adjust the date range in the upper right corner.  From here you can also sort it by all of google analytics filters.

I like to sort each engine by product (within each engine’s results), so here are some screen shots to show you your results on landing page (per product) level.

**One last note**

By doing it this way, you will also have the ability to look at all of your products across every CSE by looking in your Campaigns for Feedperfect.


Good luck, and if you need any extra help with this, or anything Comparison Shopping Engine related, feel free to ask me feedperfectblog@gmail.com.

-Steve

Google Gives an Extension to its June 6th Tax and Shipping Requirement

Google Product search issued a notice yesterday to let merchants know that they will be extending their new requirement to include all tax and shipping information until September 1st. They have also stated that they are permitting merchants to use accurate “estimates” for tax and shipping information.

This is the first time Google has indicated that estimates are ok, and I am glad to see they understand that each merchant’s shipping situation is unique. For more information on the update to their tax & shipping requirement you can read their official notice on http://googlemerchantblog.blogspot.com.

UPC / MPN / Brand not yet fully enforced on Google Shopping.

May 3rd marked the start of when Google was to begin requiring all merchants (outside of the apparel category) to begin submitting Universal Product Identifiers. However, recently Google recently released a second statement saying that even though they have started to require the Universal Product Identifiers, they are not going to fully enforce it until June 20th. If you haven’t yet added this data to your Google feed, my recommendation would be to get it in as soon as possible.

If you missed my last blog post explaining Universal Product Identifiers, here is what Google is now requiring, it is really a combination of 2 out of 3 things:
1) UPC – the product’s exact 12 digit bar code number.
2) MPN – the products manufacture’s part number.
3) Brand – The brand of the product.

You can read more about Universal Product Identifiers here.
http://www.google.com/support/merchants/bin/answer.py?answer=160161

Google Products – First Round of Changes Coming Soon!

This is just one last reminder that on May 3rd Google is going to be requiring 2 out of 3 things.  You will need to send your product’s Brand information, and either the UPC (12 digit barcode numbers) or MPN (manufacturer’s part number).  The only two exceptions for this rule are for items that fall under the apparel category, or for items that are unique to your store.

On June 6th Google are also requiring you to send all tax and shipping information along with your product data too.  Ive found the easiest way to do this, is from the Google Merchant Center itself.  For more information on both of Google’s changes Check my last blog post about this. http://blog.feedperfect.com/2011/03/required-changes-to-google-product-search/m

Bing Shopping Adds Category Tab

I recently noticed a new feature that Bing Shopping has added into its new Adcenter interface: A Categories tab.   I don’t recall seeing this tab in there previously and just wanted to pass along the tip.  The screen is very simple to use, just check off the categories that your items should fall into and then click save.

I haven’t seen any notices from Bing regarding how they would like us to complete this screen if our products should fall into numerous categories, but the screen allows you to check numerous boxes, and uncheck them at any time too.  I will be a/b testing this feature for a few weeks, and  will keep you updated with my findings in the comment section of this post. If it could potentially gain us some extra free qualified traffic, then why not give it a try?

To try it for yourself:

1)      Log into your Bing Shopping account through Microsoft Adcenter https://adcenter.microsoft.com/

2)      Click Tools, and then Bing Shopping Account Management.

3)      The tab is currently the last one on the right.