Accessing the Google Product Search XML File in ShopSite

Google Product Search (formerly known as Google Base, and formerly known as Froogle) is a great, FREE service that Google offers to all ecommerce merchants. It allows merchants to easily list their products in Google so people can search for them.

And with ShopSite ®, it’s a snap to integrate Product Search with your ecommerce store. Enter a few settings, a few config changes in your Google Merchant Center account, and you’re up and running.

Then it’s just a click of a button every week or month to submit new data to Google.

First, a few ground rules for Google Product Search

Here are a few tips for setting up Google Product Search correctly in ShopSite:

  • Use the FTP method
    ShopSite supports sending the data to Google via FTP or the API method. You should choose the FTP method. This means setting up an FTP username/password in your Google Merchant Center Account, and registering a data feed with the filename of froogle-bulk.xml
  • Include *all* required fields
    Google requires data for many fields, including Brand, Product Type, and Condition. Make sure you enter correct information for these fields when adding a product to ShopSite.
  • Pass optional data as needed (UPC, ISBN, etc…)
    Google also has some fields that they highly recommend including. Our past blog post about Google Product Search New Requirements covers this in more detail.

The XML file sent to Google

If you are using the FTP method for sending your data to Google (and you should be), ShopSite creates a physical file that is then FTP’ed to Google. If you have a need to work with this file (need to download it and manipulate it for another feed service, you have a vendor that can use the data, etc…), you can download it via FTP by going to the “log” directory off of your ShopSite data directory.

i.e.:  ss-data/log

By default, the file name is froogle-bulk.xml

If you have a vendor that needs to download this file on a regular basis, you can link this file to a web-accessible location (if you’re hosted with us we can set this up via a symlink) and then give them the direct URL to access the XML file.

It’s pretty easy to get Google Product Search set up. And if you need access to the physical XML file that gets sent to Google, you now know where to find it.  :)

If you’re looking for a service that can automate much of this, as well as submit your products to multiple feed services, check out GoDataFeed, one of our partners that specializes in comparison shopping engine submissions.

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