Manual Upload While We Wait for Google To Fix the Scheduler

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

You may have noticed that Google Base’s slow processing of scheduled feeds still hasn’t been fixed, and many feeds are a week or so behind. Here’s a way to update your stock manually while you wait for the scheduler slow down issue to be fixed by Google–manual feeds may take up to 24 hours to process because of the slow down, but it’s better than just waiting for the scheduled feed.

This fix assumes you’ve already set up your Google Base Data feed using the Etsy RSS method.

Download Your Shop’s Info


1. Go to your Etsy shop’s public view, (the little yellow and white ‘storefront’ icon at the top right of every Etsy page).

On the right, at the bottom of your shop info you’ll see a blue link that says Subscribe to shop feed.

2. Right-click on the link and select “Save linked content as”, “Save link as”, “Save target as”–or whatever is similar in your browser’s pop-up menu. (Don’t left click–it won’t get you what you need.)
Mac users: use CTRL-Click for the right-click function

3. The “save” or “save as” window will pop up–at the top of the window it allows you to save it as a file to your computer.

A. In the top box use the drop down menu choose where on your computer you would like to save your feed file. Save the file in any folder you’d like, just be sure you know how to get to it on your computer after you have downloaded it. Some have chosen to save it to the desktop so they are sure to be able to find it. We save ours in our Etsy folder.

B. Name the file the same thing as your current feed, no matter what it currently says in the box. If you have the option in the second box of selecting xml as the file type, do so, otherwise ‘all files’ should be fine. Be sure the .xml is at the end of the file name, if not–type it in.
We have two Etsy shops, named GoTo and GoToSupplies so we have two feeds, our feeds are named:

GoTo.xml
GoToSupplies.xml

C. Click save.

Upload Your Shop’s Info to Google Base


4. Go to the Google Base Data feeds page: http://www.google.com/base/bulkuploads

5. There you should see your currently scheduled feed, and under the Uploads column you should see Manual: upload file. Click the “upload file” link and a window will pop up.

6. Click the Choose button–it pops open a window that allows you to access your computer folders. Go to the folder that has the feed you saved and double click the file name. The file location will now be in the manual upload window, click the Upload and process this file button.

7. This should result in the file being uploaded to Google Base. The Last upload date & status column should now say “Processing”.

It can take a few minutes or up to 24 hours to process your file.


After the Upload


See these Google Base “Frequently Asked Question” posts for what to expect next:

# 1: I’ve set up Google Base, now what?

# 2: My feed uploaded and it says items were inserted!

# 3: My feed processed but shows a 0 items inserted message!



Visit our Etsy shop: GoToSupplies

USPS Shipping Zone Tool

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

Here’s a handy little shipping zones tool from USPS:

http://postcalc.usps.gov/ZoneCharts/Default.aspx

If you are shipping First Class domestic the rates are the same anywhere in the US & its territories, but for Priority Mail, Parcel Post & Media Mail seeing zones can help you understand the rates.

For more shipping tips see our main “Shipping” page–see the gold links on the right or click here:
Shipping Basics



Visit our Etsy shop: GoToSupplies

Search Engine Optimization

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

I’ve gotten a few requests for help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) lately, and really the best advice I can give is for you to read up on it so you’ll know how to apply it to your shop yourself both now and in the future. A good place to start is Google’s SEO Starter Guide:http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/11/googles-seo-starter-guide.html

This isn’t the only SEO resource out there–if you search the web for info on SEO I am sure you’ll find tons of material. As with anything on the internet, some of the info will be accurate and some will just be someone’s opinion, so always consider the source of what you are reading.



Visit our Etsy shop: GoToSupplies

Google Base: Slow Processing & Uploading

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009


Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo
Google Base has been very slow processing and loading scheduled feeds (like you use with the Etsy RSS method), sometimes taking more than 7 days to update feeds that are supposed to update daily.

They said their engineers are working on it, so it looks like we’ll just have to wait for them to get us speeding along again!

In the mean time, try this to get your items into Google Base after setting up the feed with the Etsy RSS method:

Manual Upload While We Wait for Google To Fix the Scheduler

Here’s Google’s post about the slow-down issue:

Known Issue: Data feed processing delays
Friday, June 19, 2009
http://base-forum-announcements.blogspot.com/2009/06/known-issue-data-feed-processing-delays.html



Visit our Etsy shop: GoToSupplies

Google Base FAQ 3

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009

Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

My Google Base feed processed but shows a
No items inserted message
!

If you used Let’s Ets to create your feed, I recommend switching to the Etsy RSS method. If you still want to use Let’s Ets, see this post for help: Temporary Google Base Issues–fixes here

If you used the Etsy RSS method, below are some common error messages and their fixes.

Please note: All feeds will always have the “Manual upload” link, even if you have it set up to upload using the scheduler.

To find your error message:

On the Google Base My Items tab, Data feeds page, click the name of the feed. That will put you on the “Feed status summary” page which shows problems with your feed.

After you use the fix for your issue below, schedule the feed to upload on the next hour to see if it worked.

If your message is…

the fix is…

  1. “The item is missing a required attribute. description” or “Prohibited word”
  2. Your problem is probably one of the following:

    • You have a special character in your listing that is causing Google to fail at reading your description. Something like a heart, a musical note, or another character you need special key groups or alt codes to create (like an é, ©, ♥ or ☺)–sticking to regular typed characters is the way to go (for example, these are usualy fine: *, ! or &.)
    • Repeated characters can also trigger rejection, so if you use things like *********** or ~~~~~~~~~~~ to separate some of the text in the listing, that might cause it to get rejected.
    • You created your listing in a word processor and it includes single or double quote marks in the item description–they are read as special characters–so edit the listing right on Etsy deleting the quotes, type them in again and finish editing the listing.
    • The word free often triggers items to get rejected, usually it’s used in “free shipping”, but it’s been known to be rejected in other uses.
    • Over use of ALL CAPS can get your items left out of the active items,
    • so can using excessive punctuation like !!!!!!!
    • “Adult” words are often a problem too, unless you mark your feed as mature. (Some words I’ve seen rejected: wine, knife, tobacco, cigarettes…)
    • Sometimes Google rejects items with a web page address in them, so linking to your shop policies, blog or other webpage may be triggering the rejection. Lots of folks can still use links without a problem.
  3. “Invalid encoding”
  4. Same as the issue above.

  5. “Internal error, feed not fully processed”
  6. Lots of folks seem to be getting this intermittently. I’d either try deleting the feed and creating a new one as described in the last entry below or correct the issues above and see if that clears it up.

  7. “This attribute is the duplicate of another attribute.”
  8. I have only see this problem when someone has used Let’s Ets for their feed–see the link above.

  9. “XML formatting error”
  10. Check your scheduler to be sure it has the web page address with the RSS in the middle of it. If it doesn’t, see steps 12 through 15 of the Etsy RSS tutorial.

  11. “Duplicate attribute: price” along with
    “Too many attribute values for attribute: price”
  12. I have only see this problem when someone has used Let’s Ets for their feed–see the link above.

  13. “We didn’t understand the delimiter in your data feed”
  14. Click the edit link next to your feed and change it so it says one of these two things–if it says one already, change it to the other:

    Target country: United States
    Feed format: googlebase
    File format: Autodetect
    Encoding: UTF-8
    Delimiter: Autodetect
    Use Quoted Fields: Yes

    or this:

    Target country: United States
    Feed format: googlebase
    File format: autodetect
    Encoding: UTF-8
    Delimiter: Tab
    Use Quoted Fields: Yes

  15. “Failure Print
    This message is displayed when a data feed hasn’t successfully processed or when no items in the feed were valid. Please make sure your feed is saved in one of our supported formats and try uploading it again.

    Also, if you’re trying to upload a compressed (.zip, .gz, .z, or .bz2) file, please make sure the file is compressed correctly, and that you’re attempting to submit the feed in binary FTP mode (for users sending their feed via FTP). If the problem persists, please contact us.”

  16. Edit your feed the same way as described in the previous response.

  17. “Missing Attribute”–weight, product type…
  18. See FAQ #2.

  19. If all else fails
  20. Sometimes a feed just ‘goes bad’. Try deleting the feed and creating a new one with a slightly different name. When I needed to do it, I changed it from/to:
    goto.xml
    goto2.xml

If none of these things help, please copy the info in the “errors and suggestions” area and paste in the Google Base help thread in the Etsy forums and I’ll see if I can help: Google Base Help Thread

I’ll be adding more solutions to this post as we go. 🙂

Google Base “Frequently Asked Question” posts

# 1: I’ve set up Google Base, now what?

# 2: My feed uploaded & it says items were inserted!

# 3: My feed processed but shows a 0 items inserted message!
Need more help after reading the FAQs? Please post in this Etsy forum help thread:

Get into Google’s “Shopping” search results–use Google Base

GoToSupplies

Google Base FAQ 2

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009

Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo

My feed uploaded and it says
items were inserted!

  1. Where is Google’s Shopping/Product search? Everyone can use this link to see it:

    http://www.google.com/products

  2. If you are in the US, you can also find it either at the top of the Google search results page–see the “Shopping” link, or sometimes it is in the “More” drop down menu. Product results also often show up near the top of regular Google searches as a short list prefaced by “Shopping results for XXXX”.
  3. You should be able to pull up all your live items by replacing the “GoToGreatPanes” in the following address with whatever you put in as your public display name on step 1 of the tutorial:

    http://www.google.com/products?q=GoToGreatPanes

  4. When searchers click on your item in the search results they are taken to the item in your Etsy shop.
  5. Under the “Last upload date & status” column it will say when the feed uploaded & how many items were inserted right on the main data feeds page.
  6. Inserted means the item title, description, image and price have been imported from Etsy to Google Base.
  7. Your items won’t show up in Google’s Shopping/Product searches until their status is published and searchable.
  8. To check your items status:
    Log in to Google Base and click My Products then the Active link, then click show all. There it will tell you when your items are published and searchable. It takes some time for them to change from “published and searchable soon” to “published and searchable”.
  9. For some it’s just a little while for their items to become “published and searchable”, for others it can take 24 hours.
  10. Occasionally, items become “published and searchable” and then revert back to “published and searchable soon” on the active items page. Google told me this is a glitch they know of and that your items still are “published and searchable”.
  11. On the active items page (click My Products then the Active link) you will see columns for:
      Expires: Items expire after 30 days, but the expiration date will be extended each time your data feed is updated. If you are using the Etsy RSS method, you can use the scheduler to update automatically.
      Impr.: Your items get hits when they show up in search results. (Impressions)
      Clicks: Your items gets hits when they when they are clicked on in the search results.
  12. If you aren’t getting hits either folks aren’t searching for goods like yours through Google Base or:
    • you need to work on the titles and descriptions to get better results in searches (Impr.)–these tips might help with that: SEO info straight from Google and Etsy: Meta Tags, or
    • you need better photos to get clicks on search results (Clicks).
  13. Google Base doesn’t use Etsy’s tags now, but will start using the first three tags to create product type values as of December 2009.
  14. Etsy limits your RSS feed to the most recent 100 items in your Etsy shop, so that’s the most Google Base will get from your feed. Admin said they will be removing the 100 item limit–yay!
  15. Google Base doesn’t like promotional text, so if your items say something like “free shipping” or “buy one get one free” or descriptions that link to other items, those items might get rejected (left out of the search), but the items without promotional text should still be fine.
  16. Google Base also doesn’t like certain special characters or descriptions that are written in a word processor and include quotes and apostrophes–see FAQ # 3 for more on that.
  17. Google doesn’t guarantee your items will always show up when they match the search terms, and they won’t explain their process of selection.
  18. Just because it didn’t come up when you searched, doesn’t mean it won’t come up when someone else searches.
  19. Sometimes similar items are left out of the search results.
  20. Missing conditions: Etsy fixed this for us! It means there’s no “new”, “used” or “refurbished” indicator–it was just added to Etsy’s feed so it should not show as an error after your next feed update.
  21. Missing product type: Categories the way Google Base has defined them doesn’t seem to jibe with Etsy’s feed. There’s nothing you can do about that now, but as of December 2009 Etsy will be using the first three tags to create your product type–choose them carefully!
  22. Missing weight: An optional attribute that is not in the Etsy feed. (There’s no where in our shop for us to enter a weight, so there’s no way for that to be added your RSS feed.) As far as I can tell, it hasn’t been affecting our search results.
  23. Editing your feed data directly on Google Base: Every time your feed updates anything you change about your item directly on Google Base will be lost, so adding the condition, product type or weight manually on Google Base is pointless.
  24. Data Quality–Says “Long Titles”: Google Base likes your item titles to be 70 characters or less.

Google Base “Frequently Asked Question” posts

# 1: I’ve set up Google Base, now what?

# 2: My feed uploaded & it says items were inserted!

# 3: My feed processed but shows a 0 items inserted message!
Need more help after reading the FAQs? Please post in this Etsy forum help thread:

Get into Google’s “Shopping” search results–use Google Base

GoToSupplies

Google Base FAQ 1

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2009

Visit our Etsy shop: GoTo


If you don’t know what Google Base is, start here: What is Google Base?

I’ve set up Google Base, now what?

  1. If you used the Let’s Ets method to create your data feed, you can’t use the scheduler. Try the Etsy RSS method if you’d like to use the scheduler. Be sure to start at step 1 of the tutorial to change appropriate account settings–it won’t work without the changes.
  2. None: That’s what your feed will say until it starts processing. You need to wait for your feed’s “scheduled time to upload” to pass before anything will show. It usually starts processing soon after that time, though for some folks the time goes by and nothing happens, but some time over the next 24 hours their feed does finally get uploaded. Google Base Problem: Right now there seem to be an issue on Google Base delaying the first upload up to 24 hours for the Let’s Ets method, up to a week with the RSS method, and subsequent uploads even longer. Posted 06/19/09
  3. You’ll know if Google Base processed the file because it will say the date and time of processed files (and either success or failed) in the “Last upload date & status” column on the data feeds page. You can also receive notices by email using the settings on this page: http://base.google.com/base/basicsettings
  4. Sometimes the page doesn’t update the feed status automatically–and you’re looking at a cached page. Try hitting refresh to see if that changes the upload status after the scheduled time has passed.
  5. You can also check the “active items” link to see if anything has been uploaded yet. Your items will show there if the feed uploaded successfully.
  6. If you have more than 1 Etsy shop or also have a website or other venue that uses Google Base, you’ll need separate accounts or a multi-client account–see here for more on that: Multiple Etsy Shops on Google Base

Google Base “Frequently Asked Question” posts

# 1: I’ve set up Google Base, now what?

# 2: My feed uploaded & it says items were inserted!

# 3: My feed processed but shows a 0 items inserted message!
Need more help after reading the FAQs? Please post in this Etsy forum help thread:

Get into Google’s “Shopping” search results–use Google Base

GoToSupplies

Google Base "Conditions" Requirement

Google Base sent emails to users about feeds requiring an attribute not currently in the Etsy RSS feed.

I am pleased to say that Etsy admin have said that our feeds will include the required “condition” by June 30th, Google’s deadline.


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