Get your products in Google Base! "Google Product Search" to replace Froogle

Have you taken the time to upload your products into Google Base? If not, what are you waiting for? While http://www.google.com/products currently still points to Froogle, CNET reports that Google Product Search will soon replace Froogle.

Still not convinced? In a recent WebProNews video interview, Vanessa Fox of Google Webmaster Tools and Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz, briefly discuss Google Base (and much more):

Vanessa Fox on Google Base:

"Basically it's a separate searching system, but you can see those results. Sometimes you'll see refinements in a normal search. Like if you do a search for something and then you might see a drop-down where you can sort of refine it."

"And over time I think we're experimenting with the best ways, you know it's another way for content owners to give us information. So, I think we're sort of experimenting, it's good to get in early."

Search refinements, also known as Onebox results are special results, which appear at the top of Google's organic search results. Onebox results can bring a good deal of traffic, and are especially helpful if the site is not fully indexed or your accompanying product page is in the supplemental index.

Even though the Onebox results reside on valuable Google real estate, many e-commerce merchants have not embraced Google Base. This is not surprising; Let's face it, this type of data easy to extract without having to manually entering some of the data for each product (i.e. category and manufacturer names, instead of system ID numbers).

While it would be nice if shopping carts took it upon themselves to automate this task, since each merchant will require somewhat of a different output, it is probably not on the top of the shopping cart provider feature lists. The good news is that any merchant who is willing to take the time to create their first bulk upload file, can take advantage of the possible extra exposure/traffic being in that onebox area provides.

Creating Your Google Base Products Bulk Upload File

Start with the Google Base Products tutorial.

Google provides a step-by-step guide to create your file and upload it to the Google Base. The easiest format to get started with is the "tab-delimited" format. Most shopping carts allow you to export your products in CSV or XLS, both of which can easily be converted to tab-delimited format. Depending on how detailed you want your Google Base listings to be, you can choose additional attributes. You will find suggested attributes for each item type (Apparel, Books, Jewelry, Movies, etc.) and their data formats further down on the Google Base products page, below "Required Attributes."

Before you start working on your tab-delimited file, take a minute to watch Google's Excel Bulk Upload Instructional Video, and also see Google's example Excel file. You can use your use your exported CSV data as a starting point and manipulate it in Excel. Don't forget to save it as a Tab Delimited Text file (as shown in the video) when you are finished.

Update: Google's announcement can be found here: Official Google Blog: Back to basics