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Google Makes Updating Product Feeds Friendlier to Small Sellers

Google recently provided a number of updates to various parts of the company’s advertising business. One change will make it easier for small and medium sized sellers (SMB) to deliver their data feed details to the company.

Listed with the tweaks to updating and validating product data feeds came the ability to use Google Sheets to organize and deliver that information. It will require a Google Sheets add-on for the Google Merchant Center to enable validation and uploading via a Sheet.

Items causing errors along with any warnings caused during the validation process appear in the Google Merchant Center add-on in the sidebar of the page. Upload progress for the completed Sheet also shows up in the add-on, and data then becomes available for one’s AdWords campaign ads.

Google has been emphasizing feeds for product data for some time, noting how these feeds enable the quickest way to update part or all of a product line’s pricing or availability. Along with the Google Sheets add-on announcement, Google also disclosed their new feed type: online product inventory feeds.

The company touted this feature as being particularly suited to large retailer who may need to update price, availability, or sales prices for their products. One can imagine this will be useful should the recent “Prime Day” off-season promotions run by Amazon and echoed by Walmart and other big name retailers become a more frequent proposition.

Google also disclosed some updates to Dynamic Search Ads. The 2012 debut of these ads touted their ability to “target relevant searches with ads generated directly from your website.”

The appeal of such ads rests in their more organic nature. Someone making a broad informational query on Google may be well-suited to see an ad derived from a particular website, appearing alongside relevant and organic results.

Google said with their latest update Dynamic Search Ads will use a site’s content to recommend ad targeting categories. One can in turn drill down these categories into more specific targeting possibilities.

Once selected from these recommendations, Dynamic Search Ads will display some ways these ads could be seen online. Google said each recommended category will provide “samples of the search queries you’ll be targeting, the text ads that’ll appear, and the pages your customers will land on.”

Ideally for Google, AdWords customers will go along with the recommended bids for those categories. Depending on what an ecommerce pro might be bidding currently for keywords to ads targeting similar search queries, the recommendations could vary significantly. Taking advantage of the new ads may also require updating one’s ad budget too.


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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.