What is Google Base/Merchant Center?

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009

Update: Google Base is now: Google Merchant Center

Google Merchant Center: Trying to get your items uploaded, but still not sure what it is? Here’s a little info:

The main function is to get your items into the database that Google uses for its shopping search (also known as their “product” search). Getting your items in Google Base is not about getting your products in the regular Google search results, though occasionally you’ll see three items pulled from the Google Merchant Center listed under “Shopping results for Your-Search-Terms” on page 1 of regular Google search results.

When someone searches on Google then clicks the “shopping” link at the top of the page they are taken to a list of products with prices and photos for easier browsing. (And if you want to know if anyone uses that, I do. It’s the way I search first when I’m looking for something that I want to buy on the internet, has been for years.)

Google’s Shopping Search: http://www.google.com/products

Looking to upload your Etsy shop or website items?

Etsy is working on getting our items in there for us, as Google changed their rules last year saying that individual sellers on market places like Etsy could no longer upload their own goods–see these two posts:

Changes Coming for Google Base

FAQs about the new Etsy GM feed

If your independant website shopping cart isn’t set up for uploading to Google Merchant Center automaticaly, you can do a manual upload for it–see here for help with that:

Google Merchant Feed for Your Website

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24 thoughts on “What is Google Base/Merchant Center?”

  1. Thanks Go to Great Panes, and wish me luck trying to figure out the google info. I like your pieces. I’ll pass your name around. Thanks so much.

  2. OK the uploaded feed took overnight to appear in a search but the items are there!

    Way cool.

  3. Thanks so very much for the information. You were very detailed, enough that a novice like me could walk right thru them ;p If I could ask a quick question… I set the auto schedule for once weekly. They have an expiration date of 7/9. Will I need to go in and do anything prior to 7/9 to keep it active?
    Again, thanks sooo very much for your help,
    Red

  4. Hi, thanks for the info on the google base. I started to do this but can you simply refer to your etsy site for purchasing th item or do you have to go through the google payment. I am somewhat confused by this. thanks

  5. I followed your excellent step by step instructions TWICE just to be certain I didn’t overlook anything. This was 2 days ago and as far as I can tell, nothing has happened. When I go to googlebase and sign in, it shows no activity. I was careful with the shop number and rss number, the gemstonesandsilver.xml and now I’m wondering if I should go through it all again for a 3rd time???? And will I know of success only by going to googlebase – or from an email to my gmail?

  6. Barbara–You don’t need to do it again unless the feed says “no items have been inserted”.

    Google Base has been having issues since about June 16 which has their scheduled feeds processing realllly slowly–sometimes several days behind.

    If it still says “none” under “Last upload date & status” on the data feeds page then you are just waiting for Google Base to catch up with processing. At least the feed hasn’t failed!

    Google Base: Slow Processing & Uploading
    http://www.gotogreatpanes.com/blog/2009/06/20/google-base-slow-processing

    For more help with your feed join our Etsy forums help thread:

    http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6067830

  7. Thanks for responding so quickly! Googlebase says “none” under “last upload and status”.

    However under “My Items” it states “you do not have any published items”.

    So does this indicate that I’m in the system and now just waiting for their catch-up??

    1. You’re welcome! “None” just means you are still waiting for the first upload so it hasn’t seen you items yet and there’s nothing for them to show.

  8. GoTo, I followed your instructions without fail it worked. But when it went to auto insert the second time it came back with this error message. Now, I’m all kinds of confused. Do you know anything about fixing this?

    Feed status summary

    No items inserted – Processed on Jun 28, 2009 9:51 am PDT

    Detected file format: XML
    Feed Level Messages
    Error: XML formatting error
    Our system encountered an error when processing your data feed.
    Learn more.
    Error: Mismatched XML tag.
    Your data feed contains a pair of opening/closing XML tags that don’t match.
    Learn more.

    Examples:
    Item Nr. Line Nr.
    19

    I would sure appreciate any help I can get I’m anxious to get back on board.

  9. GoTo,

    While waiting, I’ve just looked again at everything I entered a few days ago per your tutorial and am wondering if I made a mistake with my Display Name – I entered “Gemstones and silver” because that is the name of my etsy shop. And after Description, I entered “Gemstones and Silver jewelry store on etsy”. Are these entries correct?

  10. Also, GoTo, I’m guessing there is a lag time between the inserting and posting/publishing while the file is evaluated? My googlebase says that 28 of 28 items were inserted, however I note that nothing has been published

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