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  1. #1
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    Dealing with Duplicate Descriptions in Datafeeds
    What do you guys do when you encounter duplicate descriptions in datafeed files??

    how do you locate them fast and change them? or do you even bother changing them

  2. #2
    Newbie DataFeedFile.com's Avatar
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    Ask from the source to change the datafeed file
    Changing the datafeed file yourself is a bad idea. why?

    1. Those data are not yours. When you modify them or use them for anything other than promoting selling their product, you are not abiding to their terms.

    2. If you make mistake modifying product data or description who will be responsible for misrepresenting the data? You or the Merchant?

    3. Let's say you were able to identify the repetition and removed it, now there are vacant spaces, are you going to replace with something?

    4. Lots of duplicate content within a single datafeed means poor data. Bad for the affiliate industry all together to use that file.

    My suggestion, inform the source of the datafeed to get it fixed.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    It'd be nice if there was some place to purchase or license this information. Detailed, organized and uniform specs. Seems you can get it via the Shopping.com or Pricegrabber API's, but you're stuck selling their clicks. Would be nice to actually maintain control of the data and use it as you see fit.

    - Scott
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    If you're uncomfortable modifying your datafeed right now, you could always try querying your data with DISTINCT in your SQL query.

    For instance:

    SELECT DISTINCT(field) from TheTable WHERE ID = 1

    The DISTINCT keyword will only return unique records based on your stipulations. So, you could have 20 erroneous copies of a single record, but the query will only return one for you to display.

    This is assuming you're using SQL to grab your data on the front end.

    Good luck!


    P.S. I've not had any problems modifying the feeds I've used - but the big thing here is that the records I've removed were all either: a) completely screwed up, or b) had multiple copies of the exact same record. There's just something about showing screwed up product info to my visitors that irks me, especially if you expect a merchant won't get to it for a long time, or finds it a non-issue.

  5. #5
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    well this is a ZZOUNDS datafeed im looking at and im telling you man.. some of the descriptions they have used are exactly the same.. for example


    Logo America Les Paul Guitar Mousepad Definitely one of the coolest mousepads on Earth! These incredible-looking mousepads put your favorite classic guitar on your desk. Not your axe is within reach all day — well, sort of. Shaped just like the instruments they honor, these are the greatest gifts you could ever give an axe slingin' web surfer.
    Logo America SG Guitar Mousepad Definitely one of the coolest mousepads on Earth! These incredible-looking mousepads put your favorite classic guitar on your desk. Not your axe is within reach all day — well, sort of. Shaped just like the instruments they honor, these are the greatest gifts you could ever give an axe slingin' web surfer.
    Logo America Strat Guitar Mousepad Definitely one of the coolest mousepads on Earth! These incredible-looking mousepads put your favorite classic guitar on your desk. Not your axe is within reach all day — well, sort of. Shaped just like the instruments they honor, these are the greatest gifts you could ever give an axe slingin' web surfer.
    Logo America Telecaster Guitar Mousepad Definitely one of the coolest mousepads on Earth! These incredible-looking mousepads put your favorite classic guitar on your desk. Not your axe is within reach all day — well, sort of. Shaped just like the instruments they honor, these are the greatest gifts you could ever give an axe slingin' web surfer.


    and


    CBI Braided Instrument Cable (Black) CBI cables give you quality connections without hissing or cut-outs. Without the high price of other big named cable brands, CBI cables will provide you with clean, crisp sound.
    CBI Braided Instrument Cable with Right Angle Plug (Black) CBI cables give you quality connections without hissing or cut-outs. Without the high price of other big named cable brands, CBI cables will provide you with clean, crisp sound.
    CBI Braided Instrument Cable (Blue) CBI cables give you quality connections without hissing or cut-outs. Without the high price of other big named cable brands, CBI cables will provide you with clean, crisp sound.
    CBI Braided Instrument Cable (Red) CBI cables give you quality connections without hissing or cut-outs. Without the high price of other big named cable brands, CBI cables will provide you with clean, crisp sound. And with a variety of colors and connections, you can pick up the perfect cable for your individual needs and looks.

    I just know the search engines are as anal as heck about datafeeds, so trying to make them as unique as possible would really help instead of having the same description for each item

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Looks a lot more like a merchant issue to me...not taking the time to write uniqe enough descriptions (and it may simply be b/c there's not much to write about for those products).

    If I were you (like the others suggested), it's probably better to hit the merchant up nicely, and ask them to reconsider the way they're entering their data/content. Never hurts to try.

  7. #7
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    Andrew, affiliates that create datafeed sites that are successful general *do* make changes to the datafeed and rarely use it "out of the box" from the merchant to avoid having a site that has the exact same data as the rest of the sites using that datafeed.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
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    So anyone using zzounds datafeed is going to end up with duplicate content penalties from Google unless they change the datafeed descriptions..

    damn it.. why cant people set their datafeeds up right

  9. #9
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morethanable
    What do you guys do when you encounter duplicate descriptions in datafeed files??

    how do you locate them fast and change them? or do you even bother changing them
    I have encounter a few datafeeds with almost 99% duplicate descriptions on some categories, for example all the descriptions are the same, except the color, size, price or just the title.

    When I see a datafeed that looks like they have some duplicate text on some fields, the first thing I do is to sort by those fields with exel one by one, and if the titles has some duplicate text on many products, I may just delete the duplicate text on those titles.

    Example: I might delete all of the Merchant-name - fron the titles.

    Merchant-name - The best blue gadget on sale this week.
    Merchant-name - We have the new gadget on sale.
    Merchant-name - This gadget include the batteries.
    Merchant-name - has the best blue gadget on sale this week.

    But as long as the descriptions are different.

    If they have too many products with the same descriptions, I might just use a couple on that category and delete the rest.

    I have learned my lesson by now, it make no sense to make ten product pages to the same merchant, if the only thing that is different is the color, size, price or just the title of the same product, not even if I can make those same ten pages different with other content of my own.

    Sal.
    ...

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    What do you guys do when you encounter duplicate descriptions in datafeed files??
    It depends how many there are. If there're just a few, I ignore it. And if it's on my big site, where it'd be a Big Deal to (a) remember whose feed is screwed, and (b) change it, I also ignore it.

    On other sites:
    If there's a lot, I whack 'em. I may or may not add anything to make up for the missing data--it depends on how big the feed is. Obviously I'm not going to write 100s or 1000s of new descriptions! But if it's a small merchant with a product line that doesn't have much variance, I may be able to come up with some semigeneric spin and customize that.
    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyBusiness
    For instance:

    SELECT DISTINCT(field) from TheTable WHERE ID = 1
    The problem with that is, because of CJ's randomly-generated BuyURL and ImageURL domains, EVERY blasted record is Distinct!

    I've tried and tried to make MySQL ignore those nondistinct fields, but nothing seems to work. *bangs head*

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    No No...

    You selecte distinct on a particular field. So you'd say:

    SELECT DISTINCT (DESCRIPTION), othefields here FROM TABLE

    ... so the only thing that has be distinct is the description.
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  12. #12
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    Changing the datafeed file yourself is a bad idea. why?

    1. Those data are not yours. When you modify them or use them for anything other than promoting selling their product, you are not abiding to their terms.

    2. If you make mistake modifying product data or description who will be responsible for misrepresenting the data? You or the Merchant?

    3. Let's say you were able to identify the repetition and removed it, now there are vacant spaces, are you going to replace with something?
    BIG QUESTION: Andrew, are you saying that we can't write our own sales and promotional copy to promote a merchant and/or their products, but can ONLY use the exact text the merchants provide?

    Based on your post, we *really* need your answer to that, lest we misinterpret why you've been harping on the dup issue.

    Besides, that isn't the only issue. The killer issue is that even if it isn't duplication *within* product descriptions for multiple products from the merchant's site, even if they're unique from each other, affliates are all given the same descriptions and if they just throw them out there without modifying, then duplicate content is built into the feed by reason of simple distribution. The affiliates' sites are near-duplicates of each other.

    My suggestion, inform the source of the datafeed to get it fixed.
    Are you suggesting that a merchant is going to customize the product descriptions for each and every affiliate? Would it be realistic to expect that? Whose job is it to customize the text on an individual affiliate's site?

  13. #13
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    Changing the datafeed file yourself is a bad idea. why?

    1. Those data are not yours.
    Let me make this perfectly clear. What goes on MY site IS mine. Oh, I can't change what's in their feed, that is their data that they're distributing; and I wouldn't want to. But I can surely decide what text I should put on MY own site.


    When you modify them or use them for anything other than promoting selling their product, you are not abiding to their terms.
    That is not only a lot of happy horsehockey, but if any merchant is going to tell me what I can and can't write and use on MY site for MY promotional and sales copy, and tell me that I can't create "unique content" like the search engines want and that will market effectively to MY visitors, but instead have to use their copy that hundreds of others are using, then they can go pound sand.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    What I've done in the past is simply throw the descriptions out. If they're no good, why show them? But if you think they have some value, you can always hide them in Javascript. That way the search engine spiders won't see them and you can avoid any duplicate content penalties.

    An even better solution is to aggregate reviews from sites like Shopping.com, Epinions, Pricegrabber, etc and replace the descriptions. If you've got a thriving community you can just collect reviews from your own visitors and throw those up instead of descriptions.

    Personally, I don't think descriptions have too much value in the shopping process. Consumers can just as easily check the manufacturer website for this information. They'd prefer reviews and suggestions. Of course this depends on your niche, but generally speaking reviews are move valuable.

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

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    I have encounter a few datafeeds with almost 99% duplicate descriptions on some categories, for example all the descriptions are the same, except the color, size, price or just the title.

    When I see a datafeed that looks like they have some duplicate text on some fields, the first thing I do is to sort by those fields with exel one by one, and if the titles has some duplicate text on many products, I may just delete the duplicate text on those titles.

    Example: I might delete all of the Merchant-name - fron the titles.

    Merchant-name - The best blue gadget on sale this week.
    Merchant-name - We have the new gadget on sale.
    Merchant-name - This gadget include the batteries.
    Merchant-name - has the best blue gadget on sale this week.

    But as long as the descriptions are different.

    If they have too many products with the same descriptions, I might just use a couple on that category and delete the rest.

    I have learned my lesson by now, it make no sense to make ten product pages to the same merchant, if the only thing that is different is the color, size, price or just the title of the same product, not even if I can make those same ten pages different with other content of my own.

    Sal.
    Interesting it makes no sense to make 10 pages to the merchant if each product is different in color wouldnt you want to show that to customers?

  16. #16
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    who said he doesn't? But you dont need 10 pages to show different colors.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    What I've done in the past is simply throw the descriptions out. If they're no good, why show them? But if you think they have some value, you can always hide them in Javascript. That way the search engine spiders won't see them and you can avoid any duplicate content penalties.

    An even better solution is to aggregate reviews from sites like Shopping.com, Epinions, Pricegrabber, etc and replace the descriptions. If you've got a thriving community you can just collect reviews from your own visitors and throw those up instead of descriptions.

    Personally, I don't think descriptions have too much value in the shopping process. Consumers can just as easily check the manufacturer website for this information. They'd prefer reviews and suggestions. Of course this depends on your niche, but generally speaking reviews are move valuable.

    - Scott

    Scott that is great information.. question is though how the heck can you aggregate reviews from shopping.com and epinions? is their software to do that? do you have to be building database driven sites

    secondly if you remove the description all the shopper is going to see is an image and a link and maybe a price

    would love to know how to aggregate though, sounds cool.. would love to see what it looks like, if you know a site ( not yours ) where someone is doign it that you can show that would be great to see

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morethanable
    Scott that is great information.. question is though how the heck can you aggregate reviews from shopping.com and epinions? is their software to do that? do you have to be building database driven sites

    secondly if you remove the description all the shopper is going to see is an image and a link and maybe a price

    would love to know how to aggregate though, sounds cool.. would love to see what it looks like, if you know a site ( not yours ) where someone is doign it that you can show that would be great to see
    Check here for some mashups using review and shopping content:

    http://blog.programmableweb.com/?p=408

    Each site probably has it's own API. For example Amazon lets you retrieve reviews via XML. The details of each site are going to be different.

    And if you remove the description you don't have to show just a picture, price and link. Maybe you can show some related products and additional prices. Price comparison is a very powerful option.

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

  19. #19
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    good

  20. #20
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    What I've done in the past is simply throw the descriptions out. If they're no good, why show them? But if you think they have some value, you can always hide them in Javascript. That way the search engine spiders won't see them and you can avoid any duplicate content penalties.
    - Scott
    Scott,

    I always thought that you were smart enough not to post that kind of (top secret info around here.)




    ...

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    Scott,

    I always thought that you were smart enough not to post that kind of (top secret info around here.)
    Not too top secret to me, I don't even do it

    Just a logical solution to the problem.

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

  22. #22
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    [off topic]new favorite smilie [\off topic]
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  23. #23
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    next question asked will be HOW DO i create an Mashup of reviews from amazon and shopping.com , and include affiliate products and links LOL>.

    quest for information is crazy

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morethanable
    next question asked will be HOW DO i create an Mashup of reviews from amazon and shopping.com , and include affiliate products and links LOL>.
    Very carefully and diligently I'd first gain access to the data then see what you can do from there. This definitely takes some technical expertise.

    - Scott
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  25. #25
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    crawl ... walk ... run
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