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  1. #1
    Probably a dumb question,
    Nothing ventured nothing gained also applies to dumb questions.

    My head is spinning with this datafeed stuff. I tried the trial webmerge, but it takes sooooo long to learn. I have been reading about it and I understand the concept, but that is where I get stuck.

    Is there any online or desktop software that is simpler than webmerge?

    I want to get started but it just seems the more I do, the more I am confused.
    Now I will take my dogs and go for a Tim Horton's coffe, and clear my brain...

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Webmerge is about the easiest route for databases (not to say it is easy).

    Start with a single level file creation setup with say 10 records that you type in yourself in a column of a spreadsheet saved as a simple text file.

    Then move to multiple levels. Once you get this down, try on a small chunk of a merchant database file. Then do the whole thing.

    What may be happening is you are trying to tackle some big database file that needs to be cleaned up.

    I still use webmerge for a few different things - it is great for creating template based web pages. I believe the days of creating these pages for obtaining search traffic are behind us however.
    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

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesehead
    Webmerge is about the easiest route for databases (not to say it is easy).
    I believe the days of creating these pages for obtaining search traffic are behind us however.
    Cheesehead, (I love that name), thanks for your answer. Let me probe your mind one step further.
    In Sharesale there are a lot of available data files. Do you think that if I end up making web pages for them, that they could get picked up for traffic, and thereby generate sales?

    Or, how else could you use all those data files to create sales?

    You are right, I tried with a big database...I will take your advice and start slow. That sounds do-able.

    Ruth

  4. #4
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I don't believe the data in the datafiles alone will get you traffic. You need to build some information pages that support the products and then tack on product page sections. Perhaps more detailed info on the product, comparisons, or reviews. I have taken a sharp turn away from data feeds and lots of database-created pages due to the unfriendliness of google and others toward such pages. I was doing a lot of work getting feeds ready without the results. I instead am more focused on information now.

    Some others on this forum are using feeds though and perhaps they will chime in and offer some advice.
    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

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesehead
    Some others on this forum are using feeds though and perhaps they will chime in and offer some advice.
    I use feeds successfully, but it takes a great deal of progamming knowledge to work them properly. I build price comparison engines which is no small task. Even so the competition is pretty grueling none-the-less. From what it sounds like you're very new to this, so I would start by doing something very special and unique. Write articles and tie the datafeed information to these articles. Or find very special and outstanding deals to promote. The more manual your approach is, the better you'll do. Automating datafeeds takes a great deal of technical know-how, and even when you have it it's still extremely competitive.

    The best thing you can do is consider your visitors. Think about what would help you as a shopper and what will make you purchase something. Don't rely on the search engines for free traffic and possibly start out by purchasing some traffic from Yahoo or Google.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    The only thing I've seen that's simpler than WebMerge that some people have actually had success with, is the Product Showcase Creator (SAS's version is Make-A-Page).

    As for feed sites in general, the algos are currently against us but algos run in cycles. I wouldn't redesign any sites over it; I'll just pay more attention to my oldest sites (the ones with individuality, that I started ignoring during the time that feeds ranked best) until the winds change back.

    Perhaps more detailed info on the product,
    That's what I'd go for if I wanted something other than a standard feed site.

    To heck with letting the people compare or give their opinions. YOU TELL THEM which is the best and what's so great about it. Lead the "followers" to your merchant of choice!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    Check out the Product Showcase Creator directory for a complete list of merchants that offer an easy to use application that creates product links with a few clicks. But as everyone knows, product information itself won't bring you traffic or sales....
    Akiva Bergstrom | akiva@affsolutions.com | 718-871-8286

    Affiliate Marketing Solutions by affSolutions - Creator of the Product Showcase Creator™

    Managed Programs: EssentialApparel.com (Join) | SportsFanfare.com (Join)


    Affiliates: Product Showcase Creator Directory | Merchants: License the Product Showcase Creator™!

  8. #8
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    Ruth,

    It's not a dumb question at all. I'm stumped with datafeeds as well.

    Let me throw my datafeed question out there- I've downloaded a couple of datafeeds in CSV format. Now that I've got the file,what do I do with it?

    Thanks for the input to Ruth's question, your making a difficult topic seem easier.

    Scott

  9. #9
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by getstartedfishing
    Ruth,

    It's not a dumb question at all. I'm stumped with datafeeds as well.

    Let me throw my datafeed question out there- I've downloaded a couple of datafeeds in CSV format. Now that I've got the file,what do I do with it?

    Thanks for the input to Ruth's question, your making a difficult topic seem easier.

    Scott
    I have only been using my own datafeed files I make myself lately so I am a little rusty on describing merchant feeds but I will give it a try here:

    Datafeeds are basically spreadsheet type files. This means that each entry occupies a field of the spreadsheet. The entries are separated by commas (comma delimited), spaces (space delimited), tabs, or other means to signify one entry ends and another begins. There are also indicators within the feed for a new row of data.

    You then need another program to take all the input data and insert it into webpages. Webmerge is one program that allows you to make data-feed generated pages on your computer. Within the program you must specify the type of delimiting and formatting you are using (comma, CSV,...). A more powerful way to generate pages is to do so on your server - for information go to http://www.htmlgoodies.com/primers/database/

    As you may guess, there is a bit to know in order to start using these database files. Here's the kicker - you learn all you need to know but the merchant database file is not quite formatted correctly - you then must "clean up your feed" before you can actually use it.
    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

  10. #10
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    Thank you everyone for your reply.

    Great answer Cheesehead, thank you

    As you may guess, there is a bit to know in order to start using these database files. Here's the kicker - you learn all you need to know but the merchant database file is not quite formatted correctly - you then must "clean up your feed" before you can actually use it.
    How did I know it wouldn't be that easy!!!

    Scott

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