How to get top placement on Google for free

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Not only is my eBay listing the first one returned in a worldwide Google search but I get a shopping bag icon beside it. The secret behind how to do this is Google Product Search (also known as Google Base).

Google Product Search is a shopping comparison engine, and one that all eBay sellers and ecommerce website owners should become familiar with. According to Scot Wingo we can expect to see a 10x increase in traffic from Google Product in the UK sometime this year, and sellers should be prepped to take advantage.

When Google Products are displayed in search results they’ll be shown as “Shopping Results” and displayed between the three sponsored links (paid adverts) and the natural search results. (In the example pictured there were no paid adverts)

There are a multitude of shopping comparison engines out there – everyone from eBay’s shopping.com to shopzilla, Ciao, Kelkoo and and Nextag. Each has a different format file which you need to create known as a “feed”, and they all have different pricing models. Some charge you on a Cost Per Click basis (CPC), others charge when a buyer makes a purchase (CPA/CPO – Cost Per Acquisition / Cost Per Order), and some like Google Product are free.

Companies such as ChannelAdvisor can manage your feeds and your budget, to list your products to multiple shopping comparison sites. They can adjust the amount you pay per click/acquisition tailoring unique offers and search terms that drive traffic and convert customers. A good feed management company will also filter out items which are not profitable from your data feed, so that you’re not paying for hits that don’t generate business.

Google Product however makes things slightly easier than other shopping comparison sites – they have Google Base Store Connector which can link eBay, Yahoo, or osCommerce shops to Google Product Search for free.

Simply download the Store Connector (software which runs on your PC), and enter in your shop web address. You’ll need to have a Google account, but if you have gmail or use another Google utility you’ll already have one. Store Connector will download all your listings and then it’s the click of a button to upload them to Google.

The downside to using Google Store Connector is that your products will only be indexed for 30 days, so you’ll need to upload your feed monthly at a minimum. To balance this it works with both eBay, and osCommerce shops. Alternatives are to upload your feed manually, set up an automated feed, or to use a third party to do the work for you. ChannelAdvisor have a free evaluation offer if you want to try a Google Product feed from your website.

It’s worth pointing out that it’s possible to generate a product feed on eBay suitable for Google, however that feed will only contain your eBay shop listings. By using the Store Connector you can post both SIF and BIN listings to Google Product Search.

One word of warning… once you’ve set up your Google Base account make sure you edit your display details prior to uploading products. I was daft enough not to and I now have several hundred products on Google Shopping with my email address instead of “” as the merchant. Doh!

Everyone selling products online should be uploading a feed to Google, it costs nothing and it should get you more traffic and more sales. Download Google Store Connector and give it a try today.

32 Responses

  1. Chris, I have my shop items now waiting to upload, but I am not sure what you mean by editing the details… I assumed there would be something on the Google upload, but there doesn’t seem to be.

    Is it something in eBay, and if so, where?

    ta!

  2. You have to log into Google Base and edit your settings there – there’s a link from the Store Connector to view your products online. Click that, then settings once you’re on Google Base ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. well, I obviously did something wrong… I seem to just have eBay’s name coming up instead of mine, although the link is definitely to my shop… oh well, I’ll keep trying and amending until I get there I suppose…!!

  4. Nope, just been back into Google, definitely I have Josordoni Collectables showing as the name to appear… oh well, never mind.

  5. @3 Lynne nowt wrong with eBay’s name, I have that on some of mine too. More interestingly Google appear to have tagged some of mine as accepting Google Checkout and I have a nice Checkout logo next to them :O

    Strange seeing as eBay don’t allow Checkout in the first place!

  6. I have downloaded and installed but it says my Ebay ID and password do not match when I try to download my store listings. Anyone else getting this?

  7. If I remember rightly you don’t need an eBay ID & pasword. Just your store address + google ID & password.

  8. Oops I installed the US version. So used to selecting Language English (American) I didn’t realise it wasn’t a language selection box and there was an English (UK) option in setup.

  9. I’m in the US and my friends and I (all prolific internet shoppers) use “google shopping” all the time.

    I routinely add ” -ebay ” to the search term. I figure that if I want to search eBay for the item I’d go there (too bad that best match makes eBay probably the worst place to shop for eBay items, but there’s nothing I can do about that).

    At the moment, a google shopping search for ‘ Levi’s jeans ‘ returns about 13,300 results.

    The same search with ‘ -ebay ‘ returns about 7,000 items.

    Here’s where there may be an opportunity for sellers – because I have a google checkout account (to buyers it’s more or less the same as paypal), I’ll also hit the button that says ‘show google checkout items only”.

    A shopping search for ‘ Levi’s jeans ‘ that can be paid using google checkout returns only 149 items. I sure wouldn’t mind seeing more individual sellers show up in this category…

  10. does any one ever sell anything round here or do they spend their life uploading and downloading data, email marketing, tweaking and twittering about it etc

  11. #10 I used Google Base Store Connector with no problems all the time until I got a new PC a couple of weeks ago, I’ve installed in on my new PC but all I get is that my ebay ID and password don’t match. I’ve tried every damn thing I can think of. UK version, US version, store name and Google password, all to no avail.

    And I just can’t get my head around uploading manually, don’t you have to put it into an excel spreadsheet and do something clever to get it in the right format? I don’t have a clue how to do that ๐Ÿ™

    It’s all so frustrating as it was working perfectly well on my old PC.

  12. #19

    Exactly the same here. Google Base Store Connector is riddled with technical problems and Google does not bother to fix them. When I finally got the UK version to work (the US version still does not work) I found out that Google Base does NOT generate any additional traffic (I sell collectables). You can check the traffic in your Google Base account. In my opinion this whole article only provides false hope to sellers.

  13. 20#, Well it works for me, 79% of my website traffic comes from free Google (either natural organic search or shopping search results, my site stats don’t differentiate ๐Ÿ™ ).

    Anyone got any tips for getting Yahoo to catch up? ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. #19 Kate to upload manually eBay provide a a URL (in your eBay shop management under feeds), click on the file and download an XML file (there’s one specifically formatted for Google) and then upload it in the feeds section of Google Base

    Unfortunatly it’s SIF items only – but better than nothing.

    #20 I can’t talk for collectables, I guess it does probably work much better for rare computer products where people are searching for specific components or even better part numbers.

  15. #22 Chris I tried that but it just failed and said it had uploaded 0 items. That’s why I thought I needed to format it somehow first, but I don’t know how. It was giving me errors to do with no categories and stuff like that. It was all so easy before, and it did seem to generate quite a lot of hits in my ebay shop. ๐Ÿ™

  16. You don’t need to format the XML file so long as you use the one on the link eBay specify for Google. Hope Jimbo’s suggestion works, but not sure why it would work on one PC and not another

  17. Kate , you must have only clicked your fingers twice before….

    Looks good, fingers crossed. Quite a few click throughs already after only one day, even if they don’t buy, it will bring people into our ebay id, and from there they are bound to have a look at other stuff. People are very nosy after all…

  18. Unfortunately since yesterday Google uploading has stopped working. Over on the help boards there are a few complaints of feeds not being accepted, slow uploading etc.
    It’s broken, so if you are having a problem, that’s the reason.

    The worst part is support can’t be contacted. The links to report stuff and open tickets just goes around and around in circles!

  19. Works fine for me. If it is getting stuck I would recommend doing “what Katie did*” (is that a song?).

    *at your own risk.

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