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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Google Base & That Gray Space
    Well, it seems Boomers has been operating in that gray space. I've been a proponent of Google Base as a great way of getting visibility at the top of page 1 in the SERPs. On Saturday we had a plunge in SE traffic. Upon further investigation I found that all our Google Base product listings were gone. And what's more, I couldn't re-feed them. The message "disallowed" haunted every attempt. So, off went an email to Google. In the meantime I read datafeed policies and ran tests but could find nothing that should keep it from working.
    Today I received the following email...
    Hello,
    It has come to our attention that your Google Base account is being used to direct Google users to affiliate or commission-based programs. We have therefore disabled your Google Base account. Per our Program Policies, located at http://base.google.com/support/bin/a...er=61118&hl=en, we don't allow the promotion of affiliate products or sites.
    Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.
    Sincerely,
    The Google Team
    *Click* Ahhh, there it is, in black and uh... gray...
    Affiliates
    Posting is not permitted for the promotion of affiliate sites, products sold through a commission-based relationship, or sites that sell through cataloged third-party drop-shipping programs. This includes item pages that are made up primarily of advertisements, or pages where advertisements obstruct the view of the item.
    Ok, well, I don't remember reading that when I signed up in February. Uh... I don't remember reading the TOS at all. Oops, so how often do we check the "I have read the terms and conditions" box without so much as scrolling the little teeny scroll bar on that text box?

    So I've got my request in to reinstate my G-Base account explaining that we do sell products, but that there's a mix of affiliate products there also, and I promise to only list the non-affiliate ones.

    Back to the LIGHT!
    Last edited by Ed Byerly; October 6th, 2008 at 08:54 PM.



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  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Cool
    and yet, when I looked a year ago there were many products that were using typical amazon.com sku's from other folks.

    you should be able to list directories but should label them as such. then they don't expire. ( I don't think so, anyway . . . will have to log in and see if mine are still there.)

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    I couldn't find anything about directories...



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  4. #4
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Lightbulb
    it is possible to list a item and just put Directories in the box where the other tags normally go.

    But you can't normally search the base for those and I don't know why.

    there are about 20 in there right now. if you are logged in to yours you can see the rest and if you search on "directories" I think the button to the right of the box changes to that also.

    Just went in myself. Thought it was strange.
    sending you a PM

  5. #5
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Cool
    I think why I was able to use that instead of the tags that are in there is that when I was first trying it out I read something about if there was enough demand and if it made sense we could use other tags. Apparently not enough used them so they didn't pick up on them.


    gone to bed

  6. #6
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Boomers, err Ed I happened to read that TOS prior to submitting my drop ship feed. I think you do some drop shipping also so those items should be allowed without any issue.

    If you're able to get G* to re-instate just use those products in a data feed and you'll be fine. Although I'm not sure how they'd look at the mixed pages for affiliate/merchant products... but my understanding is as long as you're only directing people to items you sell it should still be ok.
    Someday starts today
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think we're alright on the dropship because we don't use a "dropship catalog service" as stated in the TOS. We dropship through a number of different manufacturers and distributors. Dropship products are indistinguishable from inventory items from the customer's or Google's point of view so I don't think they will be questioned.
    We upload our datafeed to Google for automatic submission. Problem was everything we listed on our site went into the datafeed including about 200 affiliate products. The affiliate products ARE distinguishable obviously, because there's no Order button like our other products. And there are eBay items listed under the product descriptions. We were getting a lot of traffic on some of those so it's kind of hard to let it go. Oh well...



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  8. #8
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    A few questions about Google Base:

    1. Is Google base the vehicle for having Google Shopping Results show up in a search?

    2. Can one submit information pages (How To ....) and have them show up in searches? Or where would such information pages show up?
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  9. #9
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Talking
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesehead
    A few questions about Google Base:

    2. Can one submit information pages (How To ....) and have them show up in searches? Or where would such information pages show up?
    there are ways to tag "news and articles," "reference articles," and "reviews"

    don't know how well they actually show up, though. you'll have to sign up (free) and find out, I guess . . .

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Google Base is basically a database of virtually everything. G-Base Products is where we submit individual product items through a datafeed. I opened up another Google Base account and have uploaded a lot of non-affiliate items to get our exposure back up while we work out this suspension of our main account.

    Products in G-Base show up in two different places...

    Most importantly, they show up in the regular Google SERPS in a group of up to three items just under the sponsored ads at the very top of page one. Then the regular search results display below.

    Second, you can shop in G-Base itself to find products you're looking for. We do get quite a lot of traffic from here, but not as much as in the SERPs.

    Attached are examples of searches for a particular Bible in one of our product lines.

    On another subject, we usually get a couple handfuls of visitors a day through the link in our sig. Today so far we've gotten in excess of 60 from this thread alone. Interesting...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	G-Base1.gif 
Views:	39 
Size:	32.6 KB 
ID:	2798   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	G-Base2.gif 
Views:	40 
Size:	40.4 KB 
ID:	2799  
    Last edited by Ed Byerly; October 8th, 2008 at 12:55 AM. Reason: Wording...



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  11. #11
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Byerly
    On another subject, we usually get a couple handfuls of visitors a day through the link in our sig. Today so far we've gotten in excess of 60 from this thread alone. Interesting...
    Ed,
    I've often wondered about the benefit or detriment of links in a sig here at ABW. Most likely these are not people looking to buy, but just looking at sites. I'm guilty of this, myself. I'd also be curious about visitourmall's input as he has several listed in his sig.

    But from the benefit side, do you see how many of these are SE bots finding and indexing your content more quickly than finding it through other sources? I presume there may be some minor seo benefit, but unsure of how valuable it is due to the theme of ABW.

    From the detriment side, do you feel it may open your niche up to more competition and even scrappers who will out right take content as their own?

    Of course many, like myself, simply look at them to help judge what I'm doing against what others are doing in terms of design, style and product presentation. For those of us in that group, I thank you for allowing me to peek over your virtual shoulder.
    Someday starts today
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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    I think the SE benefits of posting links in your sig is overrated. I've seen no particular increase in traffic other than what comes in directly through the link. And as you mentioned, that is low quality traffic in terms of sales. In G webmasters tools there are a lot of ABW links listed under "outside links to my site", but I have realized no SE benefit. And I'm not sure I buy the talk about backlinks being so beneficial. But that's not why I posted it anyway.

    As for scrapers and people copying, if that's going to happen, it will regardless of the link here. And I just look at it as I can beat a scraper in the SERPS anyway, at least eventually. SERP ranking is very good on some items and not as good on others. And I'm not worried about people stealing my ideas either because I'm really not doing anything unique.

    As for indexing, I submit a sitemap in webmaster tools regularly so it stays pretty up to date in G.

    I enjoy visiting the sites of other members too. I'm not interested in copying their strategies or niches, but looking around does sometimes generate new ideas.
    Last edited by Ed Byerly; October 8th, 2008 at 03:29 AM.



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  13. #13
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Thanks Ed. Your screenshots confirmed what I was thinking this was all about. I don't have any products, but I am setting up a product site for a friend and this could be useful.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    For a merchant the Google Base listing is a boon to traffic, especially for a new site that has not built organic traffic. The only downside is that you have to renew your products every thirty days because they expire from the database. Using a datafeed file to upload regularly is a must for large inventories, well, even small inventories.

    Additionally, there is a Google app called Google Base Store Connector. If the merchant has an eBay, Yahoo, or osCommerce store, they can use the app to automatically retrieve the entire inventory and add it to GB automatically.



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  15. #15
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I plan on setting this site up from a database file so the updating should be easy enough.

    Again, thanks for the info!
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Back to the LIGHT!
    It's not "back to the light" when you get *kicked out* of the gray/black. I didn't see it coming from you here (other than in the quoted phrase), but, please make sure not to get that wretched...attitude...you know the one, also known as "jailhouse conversion."
    So I've got my request in to reinstate my G-Base account explaining that we do sell products, but that there's a mix of affiliate products there also, and I promise to only list the non-affiliate ones.
    Good luck. I've read some mixed reviews on requesting reinclusion in any of the G-run stuff. Some say they've managed it, but others say they just get a form response which can be succinctly paraphrased as "F. U." I suppose it depends on if you get a jerk on the other end or someone who still hasn't yet been consumed by the Ogre Virus.

    Oops, so how often do we check the "I have read the terms and conditions" box without so much as scrolling the little teeny scroll bar on that text box?
    With G? I always read before clicking. If I'm going to *explicitly agree* to something (by clicking the box or any kind of agree button), I want to know EXACTLY what that place is up to. I wouldn't be surprised if they stuck in a "you surrender your soul" clause one of these days, and if they do, I will find it (and not agree)!

    But anti-G sarcasm aside, when I see a good thing I like to keep it going. Also, before I can decide whether to color outside the lines, I need to know where the lines *are.* Sometimes the lines actually manage to be where I want them (or at least close enough to not ignore 'em). G Base is one of those times.

    G divisions which don't have an explicit agreement to click are another matter. For instance, their "webmaster guidelines" aren't an agreement. They're Google's fevered wishing, and about as binding as me putting a "guideline" that says "if you spider this, you must rank it #1 under all its relevant terms."

    So for the regular engine, G and I try to make the other follow our respective guidelines, with about equal success.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knight01
    I've often wondered about the benefit or detriment of links in a sig here at ABW.
    I think the SEs ignore it when there are more than [some unknown number] of links from a single site. I don't know what the number is, but after a few hundred posts I think you've passed it. I know my sig link doesn't give me any SEO benefit...either that or they have a file that says "this one thinks our main SE division can jump off a pier, so negative-500 ranks for that site there in her sig!"

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Wahoo!
    Well, after many emails back and forth and a re-fit of our methods, it's finally resolved...
    Quote Originally Posted by The Google Team
    After further review of your account, this account has been approved to participate in Google Base.
    I created a separate website with a robots.txt to dissallow google indexing. BoomersSupply.net is a duplicate of our main site, but only lists products that we sell with no affiliate links. The site is only for Google Base submissions. I haven't completed modification yet, but products purchased on this site will utilize the shopping cart of the main site to eliminate the effort of selling through two systems. With the huge advantage of Google Base products displaying in number one positions (more or less) in the SERPs, this is well worth the effort.

    So for those affiliates who don't sell your own products, Google Base is not for you.

    For those operating a PRE-MADE membership type dropshipping site, GB is not for you.

    For those who do operate an ecommerce site, be sure that you are not promoting affiliate links of any kind in GB. It's not worth jeopardizing your relationship with G over a mistake like I made.

    If you do end up in a conflict with G, they do answer emails, albeit in two or three days. Communicate politely and professionally. Work hard to comply and request further review.

    And don't skip over reading those TOS in such a critical search venue.

    Case closed...



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  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Byerly
    For those who do operate an ecommerce site, be sure that you are not promoting affiliate links of any kind in GB. It's not worth jeopardizing your relationship with G over a mistake like I made.
    I should qualify this statement. GB actually does allow affiliate links on product pages for items you actually sell. They have restrictions on the number of aff links and that they can't overwhelm a page or cover up the actual product images and descriptions. The rule of thumb is to be very careful about the integration of affiliate links.



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