Google Product Search close eBay sellers' accounts

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googlebaseGoogle Base also known as Google Product Search, Google Shopping and Froogle, have announced that they’ll no longer be accepting individual product feeds from marketplace sellers. This will not only affect eBay sellers but also sellers on every other marketplace including amongst others eBid, Amazon, PixPlace, Play, Etsy and Bonazle.

To replace individual product feeds Google are to introduce multi-client accounts as a solution to help marketplaces manage feeds for multiple sellers under a single account. Marketplaces will be required to use multi-client accounts to submit and manage their sellers’ feeds starting on December 1st, 2009. Google will contact individual sellers on marketplaces and “retire” their accounts.

Google say the aim of these changes is to improve product data, give shoppers more accurate and relevant information and to save individual time as they won’t need to submit their own feeds. This does of course assume that the marketplaces upload and update relevant feeds themselves.

Google have been experimenting with Google Product Search over the last six months with many sellers report drops in traffic (and sales!) of as much as 80%. ChannelAdvisor held a workshop offering 10 tips to implement to counter the drop in traffic from Google Product Search, which work well for your own website, but for your eBay traffic you’re now more reliant than ever on eBay generated feeds.

Individual seller feeds on eBay which uploaded Shop Inventory Format (SIF) have been flakey to say the least, with sellers often reporting them not working. Google Store connector was a better option as it uploaded both SIF and Buy It Now (BIN) listings to Google. SIF listings no longer exist on eBay UK and Google Store Connector has also been unreliable at times.

The good news is of course (so long as the marketplaces you trade on get their multi-client account aggregated feeds running reliably) your products should still appear on Google Product Search with no input needed by individual sellers.


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