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  1. #1
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    February 15th, 2012
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    Google product search for affiliate site?
    Hello! We run an affiliate shopping site - all of the products on our site are linked to an actual store (like Target, Best Buy, etc) for the user to make the purchase. We are signed up with several affiliate networks, and the respective merchants, and have been for over a year.

    But now we're looking into adding products to Google Product Search, so that our site shows up in Google search results for the types of products that we handle. So, I starting wading through the feed requirements for Google Product Search, and the more I see, the more I'm convinced that this service is NOT for affiliate sites like ours, but rather for the actual sites -- the actual retailers.

    I've blown about 2 hours searching and reading and wondering - can anyone please verify this for sure? The Google terms are rather vague, or maybe I'm just floundering with the terminology. I'm a software developer, not an affiliate expert. So please break it down :-)

    Thanks for any and all advice.

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    April 5th, 2005
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    That's my understanding but I don't use the product search. Moved this to the Google network forum to see if we can get them to respond.

    I will tell you that we worked on this when I was at an agency. Even though we ran the merchant site we got trumped by bigger sites like Sears and Target. My take it was similar to the quality score on AdWords. When we alone had a product that only sold through the merchant site we would get the listing.

  3. #3
    Moderator
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    April 6th, 2006
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    It's pretty tough to find Google T&C these days, but I've been testing Product Search for a friend who sells online:

    Google Product Search policies - Google Merchant Center Help

    Under unacceptable product categories:
    Affiliates, cataloged drop-shipping programs, and multi-level marketing The promotion of affiliate or pay-per-click links, products sold through a commission-based relationship, or sites that bulk list products fulfilled through drop-ship consolidators is not allowed. This includes item pages that are made up almost entirely of advertisements, or pages where advertisements obstruct the view of the submitted product. The promotion of multi-level marketing (MLM) business products is also not permitted, such as businesses that recruit members and offer them rewards for recruiting others and/or selling services
    To summarize, that would be no, affiliate products are not allowed.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by teezone; March 29th, 2012 at 04:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    January 22nd, 2007
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    Check merchant TOS as well, as many merchant programs specifically prohibit this. In fact, Target just sent out an email today updating their TOS to include this prohibition (and other stuff).
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    Google Affiliate Network Rep Google Affiliate Network Moderator's Avatar
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    June 21st, 2007
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    Thanks for answering the questions everyone! There are also data feed tools out there like PopShops, GoldenCan and others who can help you combine multiple feeds plus much more.
    Google Affiliate Network
    Blog | Help Center
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