Google Base Logo | Data Feed OptimizationFirst of all, what is Google Base? Google Base is essentially Google’s mash up of eBay, Craigslist, and Shopzilla. Google Base allows users to submit pretty much anything, ranging from products to services to events. These listings are then displayed in Google One Box Results as well as Froogle results. Most people using Google have come across OneBox results, but probably didn’t even realize it. OneBox results are normally displayed for products at this point in time, and are actually displayed above organic search results. Google will display the top three OneBox results for any given keyword you type in, so as you may imagine there is competition for a top three spot. You can view these OneBox results yourself by typing a product into Google; try “running shoes.”

Google Base Results | Data Feed Optimization

Custom Listings versus Data Feeds

There are two ways of listing products on Google Base. The first way is to add products individually. You pick the category, add the product information, include a link to the product, etc. Google then creates a unique page for your listing, which is then displayed in the OneBox results as well as Froogle. When the listing shows up in someone’s search results and is clicked on, it will direct the consumer to your Google listing page. The second way to list an item is to upload a data feed. A data feed is basically an excel spreadsheet containing all of your products and their information. This will allow a user to upload multiple listings with one click; definitely a big time saver. When uploading a data feed, as opposed to submitting single listings, there is one very significant difference. Data feeds do not create a unique listing page for your item, but rather link directly to your website. So, when a user clicks on your listing in the OneBox results, it will link directly to your product on your own website.

Google Base Data Feed | Data Feed Optimization

Custom Attributes

Google Base has one characteristic that is very unique, and truly redefines the way consumers can search for anything they need. Google Base allows you to create custom attributes for your items. You can add any type of information here that you want. For example, if I were selling a snowboard, I could define the length as a custom attribute. This way people searching for a specific size snowboard will easily be able to find snowboards of that size. Google Base allows users to list as many custom attributes as they want, though I am sure there is a limit at some point. Really, the more information you are able to provide Google Base, the better. Your item will tend to show up when your listing gives more relevant information than any other listing or organic search result.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Google Base is a very powerful tool that most people probably aren’t taking advantage of when it comes to selling their products or services. I have noticed that

  • Google Base is currently optimized for products over services, but this could change in the near future. If you try typing in a service, Google won’t display OneBox results, but rather local business results. In the future, I believe OneBox results will commonly be displayed for services, events, activities, jobs, etc. I can only imagine that the opportunities on Google Base will grow as this service becomes more popular, especially for categories other than products. Once you begin listing your products on Google Base, you will soon be wondering how to get your OneBox listings into a top three spot.
  • This brings up the larger concept of data feed optimization, which includes different tactics/methods to optimize your data feeds for Google Base. Could we see data feed optimization become as large of an industry as search engine optimization?


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Helen • 10 years ago

Our new multi-channel Vendio Platform ecommerce solution allows sellers to submit their data feeds to Google for free. We always recommend that they "play" with Google Product Search before trying any of the other CSE's because it's free and you can learn how to optimize without incurring thousands in CPC costs. What's interesting is that many merchants are already asking for feed optimizing services when they haven't dipped their toes into the water, so to speak. Therefore, the demand is definitely there. I'd love to see a cost-effective (or something like a free tutorial) way to help our merchants figure it out. Please let me know if you come across something like that. Helen

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Nick • 10 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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John • 10 years ago

Google is always expanding avenues for more revenue. This is another such case. Only time will tell if some-day Google runs out of ideas and its juggernaut stops some-where paving the way for another new Search Product to come into the fore and revolutionize the web much like Google did 10 years back.

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SEO and SEM Consultants • 10 years ago

Thanks for the information about Googles new money maker. the question though is how the rankings come up. We need to now optimize ecommerce sites for Google and Google Base. Wow tough work ahead

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Ryan Frank • 10 years ago

Thanks for your input Helen. I haven't had too much luck finding a detailed tutorial for this yet so it seems like a good project for me. I will be writing a blog post soon outlining some detailed steps and tips for optimizing your Google Base listings. Check back soon.

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Entrepreneur • 10 years ago

Is there any cost associated with using this service from Google or is it free? I could see potential for abuse by spammers if it is a truly free service.

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Bristol Marketing • 10 years ago

Totally here you Ryan - Optimising for Google Base should never be overlooked... Would be nice to have the equivalent to the adwords editor for Base rather than messing around with an excel spreadsheet etc Are there any semi[automated google base tools out there?
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Ryan Frank • 10 years ago

Currently, there is no cost associated with Google Base and yes, with any free product there is a large potential for spam abuse. If you take a look at Google Base overall though, it seems that they are doing a fairly good job at keeping spam off the system. There will never be a way to keep this free service 100% spam free, but rather more about keeping spam levels in check. I would assume that as the service becomes increasingly popular, Google will dedicate more and more resources towards the monitoring of the system.

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Ryan Frank • 10 years ago

There are currently a variety of Google base tools that can prove extremely helpful. Just to clear this up, you are not required to use the spreadsheet method to upload products, but this is offered to make bulk product submissions much easier than submitting individual products onto the system. Google provides a very simple interface for uploading single products as an alternative to using the spreadsheet.

As far as additional tools go, here are a few that may be helpful...

Google Base Products Lister
Allows you to upload and manage multiple groups of products without using Google's interface. This is perfect for managing large amounts of items or even products in different categories.

Google Base Competitor Analysis
Compare prices of your products to others listed on Google Base

Google Base Stats Report
Download, manage, and analyze stats from your Google Base listings including impressions, page views, and clicks.

osCommerce Google Base Data Feed
Allows you to easily submit products from your online osCommerce store to Google Base. There are also similar products available for other open source shopping carts including Zen Cart.

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Marcel • 10 years ago

I had totally forgotten about this ... Hard to believe too

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Leadsmarketer • 10 years ago

How can SEO and a search engine marketing campaign improve Leadsmarketer website ( position in the search engines? Our marketing and sales department invested a lot of resources in writing all the content for our web site but we just can’t seem to be ranking high enough in the engines, while our competition is on top. Do we have to re-write it all over again?

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Mike Shannon • 10 years ago

(1) The title tags on some of your pages are a bit long and ugly, maybe try shortening them up to get your point accross in under 65 characters, then place the remaining info in your meta description tags.

(2) You could add a few contextual, internal links within each page's copy to help distribute search, spider traffic and link equity. 

(3) Your site has only about 16 pages in Google's index (your competition probably has thousands), you may want to build a strategy around releasing new content on a regular basis, say once a week with a blog or similar web application - we do that here at Best Rank ;)  I also noticed that for example your services page contains all your service listings... you could keep short summaries of each service on your current page and then break up each service into it's own page going into greater detail about each service with cases studies or examples, etc.

(4) Your site has around 117 inbound links according to Yahoo's site explorer tool, so if you're competiting with the big dogs you won't start ranking well for broad terms until you start getting a few more links which leads into

(5) If you do start realeasing content on a regular basis you may want to look into social media services that get your pages in front of many thousands of eye balls, you end up receiving residual links and improved rankings as a result.  Check out our case study on social media improving orgranic SEO.

(6) and to manage all that content you'd want to have some kind of CMS (not sure if you already hace one seeing that your pages end in .html), drupal is nice for that (we also create drupal sites)

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Justice O. Omorodion • 10 years ago

You definitely open my eye with this post about Google base optimization. This is a marvelous tip right here and I can't wait to go try it out...

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Helle Vest Sørensen • 10 years ago

Cheers for sharing this important information. Very useful stuff, indeed.

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Pravish Thomas • 10 years ago

Google Base is a place where you can submit all types of online and offline content. It is a free Google service that helps you publish virtually any kind of information. An online database provided by Google into which any user can add almost any type of content, such as text, images, and structured information in formats like XML, PDF, Excel, RTF, Word Perfect. Now all know about the ADWORD Stuff - the paid service from Google to get clicks on desired keywords. Now in GBASE, the 3 results that come on top of the page mostly which is a free service, so why would people now go after Adwords(PPC) when they can optimize for GBASE and get free traffic! So there is a possibility that Google may charge specially for Gbase in future or else GOOGLE Adwords would be useless. Becz we have used Gbase and we get sales 30-50 sales every day 1,500 visitors per day without the use of Google adwords. So as long as Gbase is free its like getting SALES for FREE!!!!!

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