Google Base : Feeds, Sales & Marketing
As the title implies, there is a great free opportunity for additional product promotion through the virtually untapped Google Base. Google base is a wide open database system that allows listing of almost anything. As such online retailers need to understand what it is and how to use it. As an online vendor of products or services, it is in a business owners best interests to explore all the potential money making opportunities that exist for them online.
That’s why I thought I’d recommend researching Google Base. I personally haven’t spent much time on it, however the time I have spent (to research this article for example) tells me that this is a definite advertising channel with huge potential.
And its quite easy to set up – all you need is the time to set up individual products or, better yet, create a product feed and feed it to Google Base much like you’d feed your product listings to Froogle and other popular shopping sites.
The nice thing about Google Base is that the feeds can be relatively unstructured. They don’t need to be preformatted to suit the vendor (much like many shopping services like Froogle or Yahoo! Shopping). Granted Google Base doesn’t get the traffic of other e-commerce sites, yet, but it will. That’s partly due to the fact that we are already beginning to see Google Base results slowly working their way into OneBox results.
For those that don’t know – the Google OneBox is the area immediately above the organic results. They typically include local results, Froogle results, image results and more. What Google has been doing is reserving some space within the OneBox for Base results and presenting them when there could be a matching query.
That means if you are having problems positioning organically for the results, and can’t afford the spend required for top ranked AdWords ads, then you can still achieve high page visibility through OneBox results such as Google Base.
What do you need to use Google Base?
Nothing really – you could begin creating Base entries right now. All you need to do is go to Base.Google.com and begin adding entries.
However, if you want to get more sophisticated you can take the time to create a feed with the data YOU want to appear, and then upload it to Google.
That’s one of the key benefits to me – that you can create the feed any way you want and serve it any way you want. Let’s say you sell product online but you want to give more than the usual Title, Description and Price that is common among many shopping sites.
No Problem! Base lets you do that – as I said it’s an unstructured system which means it accepts a wide variety of data fields.
Therefore anything that you have in your product database could be easily exported to a feed for Google Base including content you have optimized for Google Base.
You read right – I said you could submit optimized content. Just like any search engine product you are going to do what you can to get it to rank highly, therefore you are going to want to optimize the feed just like you’d optimize your site pages. That means keyword research and optimization as well as compelling titles and descriptions.
The more compelling your titles and descriptions the more likely your listing will get clicked on than that of your competitor.
That’s another thing I wanted to mention – Google Base is still relatively new. There aren’t too many e-tailers who’ve harnessed it yet. Therefore the ones who get into Base sooner will have a much bigger advantage.
That’s because they will have had the time to experiment with listings to find what worked and what didn’t and will more than likely have a much better performing product than their competitors.
How to Get Started
As I mentioned above all you need is the drive to do it. If you have a Google account you can even bulk upload listings (the product feed) but if you are unsure of that at this time, that’s fine. Why not try experimenting with the service? Set up a couple items to see what they will look like and get a feel for the flexibility of the system. You may be surprised at how much data you can squeeze into a listing.
This is also a great way to experiment with how Base displays results. Soon you may be able to figure out what Google Base considers important and then optimized your listings to take advantage of that.
As you can see, Google Base is an untamed wilderness. It is an untapped resource that the most web savvy businesses are just starting to take advantage of now. Why aren’t you one of them?
Rob Sullivan is a SEO Consultant and Writer for Textlinkbrokers.com