There are so many feeds that have everything except categories. It makes me think that there must be uses for them that I haven't discovered yet. I have been thinking that the merchants with feeds like that where clueless, but now I'm wondering if they are just targeting comparison sites or something like that.
There are so many feeds that have everything except categories. It makes me think that there must be uses for them that I haven't discovered yet.
I agree, I have found many good feeds on SAS, and now on CJ, that I would like to use, but since they don't have any categories or subcategories, I just put them on the bottom of my long, things-to-do list...
As for other uses, I know I can make just one PHP, Make-a-Page page, and display the feed by showing just a search box and few products at the time on one page with a: FIRSTPREV [Page 1 of 10000] NEXTLAST for navigation, but I rather work with feeds that have some kind of categories included on the feed...
There are plenty of uses for these datafeeds. You can still search the product names, brands and keywords. While the categories are helpful for providing a more accurate search engine you can price match the products and combine category information from multiple merchants.
It's my personal opinion that using merchant categories without a good mapping and search mechanism can only provide very limited value to consumers. I think the big question here is "am I using these categories to create a useful, potentially viral tool for consumers?"
Too often I see affiliates creating thin affiliate sites using these categories hoping to get fleeting search engine traffic with little to no chance of building a brand and an audience.
Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.
It's pretty frustrating when the merchant fails to include categories. I've found myself writing rules to populate that column based on some strings that may be in the product name or description. In extreme cases I've gone through line by line filling them in. Either way it's a time waster for sure.
have you guys had a look at Webgains datafeeds? About 30 of our 60 live merchants have datafeeds. We provide the merchants cats and our own standardized cats complete from parent to child and each of them mapped carefully. Let me know if your interested, we'd be glad to help.