Google Base is an online database of user-submitted content. The system is open-ended and flexible enough to handle current events, real estate, recipes, classified ads, products and more. Every item that is sent to Google Base can be thoroughly described using attributes, which makes all of the content searchable.

The system is a great way for online retailers to increase their exposure and boost sales. Merchants who send their products to Google Base will see their listings on on Google Product Search and even our main Google web search. And best of all, submitting to Google Base is free.

ProStores gives merchants the ability to automatically send their products to Google Base. If you haven’t checked this out yet, log into your ProStores System Administration panel and go to Marketing > Traffic Generation. Here, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for setting up your Google Base account and linking it up with your ProStore. You can choose to send a feed file to Google Base on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on how frequently you update your Product Database.

This automated process is convenient for ProStores merchants, but you really don’t have much control over the feed file that you’re sending to Google. When you send an automated feed, you’re simply shooting out all of the basic product info as it exists in your ProStore’s database. This works just fine for many people, but most users find that they get much better results when they manually create and optimize their feed.

One of the most exciting things about Google Base is that you can define your own attributes, making your products easier to find. When you manually create a Google Base feed, you can deck it out however you please. Some people will search for products by color, some by material and others by brand. Adding new attributes to describe your products is a great way to get your product in front of a consumer who is ready to buy.

Just last week, Google even introduced a new “youtube” attribute that allows you to submit video product reviews. The list of supported attributes is ever growing, and you can always create your own attributes if none of the predefined ones suit your needs.

Now, if you want to manually prepare a feed file it’s important that you have some experience working with spreadsheet files in Excel or similar programs. To get started, you’ll first need to export a copy of your Product Database as a spreadsheet. You can do this from the ProStores System Admin Panel by navigating to Support > Export Data and selecting the table named “Products”. Once that’s exported, you’ll need to chop up the spreadsheet to fit the Google Base feed format. Once this is completed, you’ll log into your Google Base account and follow the instructions on uploading a data feed.

If editing spreadsheet files isn’t your forté, you can check out some of these cool, ProStores-compatible online marketing tools:

These tools help you send your ProStores products to a number of online shopping sites, including but not limited to Google Base. They all give you the opportunity to edit and optimize your feed for better performance.

Give Google Base a try. It’s free to use and will help you achieve greater exposure on the web.

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