More Than Ten Product Indexes to Get Your Products Listed
The Product Indexes are a simple concept. You get your product listed, so when people search, your product may come up. Just as there is in a search engine’s regular search results, there will be a link to your site. In fact, as you’ve seen, the results may be inserted into the regular search results.
Following is a bunch of product indexes that you might want to check into. Clearly, the most important ones are the indexes used by the major search engines.
Google Product Search
Google Product Search — formerly Froogle — is Google's product directory. It’s been incorporated into the main Google site for years now and has hundreds of millions of products in the index.
Getting into Google Product Search is easy. Just click the Information For Merchants link to find instructions. You can submit a datafeed file — a simple text file containing the product data. In addition, if you have programmers working on your site, they can use a Google API (Application Programming Interface) to feed data to Google.
Google Product Search doesn't display a lot of information about each product, so it doesn't require much information from you. You provide a link to the information page on your site, a link to an image of the product, the name and description, a price, and a category. Additionally, you can fill various optional fields, such as author name, model number, size, style, weight, and so on.
Yahoo! Shopping, PriceGrabber, and PrecioMania
Early in 2010, Yahoo! Shopping dumped its own shopping directory and went into partnership with PriceGrabber and its Spanish-language hermano PrecioMania. PriceGrabber was already a major shopping index in its own right; it currently claims that it has 26 million unique visitors and provides more than a billion dollars in customer referrals each month.
PriceGrabber has been a significant shopping directory for a long time because it feeds data to various other shopping directories — over 300 different websites — and with the Yahoo! partnership, it feeds to one of the world’s most important shopping directories.
The end result? When you search at Yahoo!, it finds the product you’re looking for. When you click the link to the product page, Yahoo! finds merchants that sell the product.
Because Bing is the third of the Big 3 search engines, getting into Bing Shopping could be a very good thing. However, getting into Bing Shopping isn’t as easy as getting into Google Product Search or Yahoo! Shopping. You have to contact a sales rep and see whether Bing will take you.
Getting into Bing Shopping is, in effect, an advertising buy; Bing has various options, but they’re all based on a CPC — cost per click — model. Note that if you’re spending less than $500 a month, Bing probably doesn’t want to talk to you.
Ask.com and Pronto
Ask.com works with Pronto. As a bonus, your listings will appear on the Pronto site itself, of course, as well as a variety of other Pronto sites — ProntoStyle, ProntoHome, ProntoTech, ProntoKids, and BabyPronto. Your listings may appear in CitySearch, too.
Pronto is also a CPC system and charges you a minimum bid — 30 cents per click for clothing, for instance, and 70 cents for computers — but more if you decide to bid to get a higher position.
You may not have heard of TheFind, but apparently plenty of people have. TheFind claims to get 25 million visits a month. It indexes more than 320 million products from more than 500,000 stores. It goes out and finds the information, but you can claim your store so that you can provide a logo and submit datafeeds (which is free), provide coupons, and optimize your content. You can pay for better positions.
Shopping.com, owned by eBay is also a pretty important (that is, popular) shopping directory, with around 100 million viewers a month, thanks to its relationship with eBay, partnerships with major sites such as CNET, and operations in the UK, Australia, Germany, and France. It also charges by the click, and each category has a minimum rate.
BizRate & Shopzilla
BizRate & Shopzilla are two popular pay-per-click sites with common ownership. In addition, Shopzilla owns another seven different shopping sites, including six in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom: Beso.com, PrixMoinsCher.fr, SparDeinGeld.de, Shopzilla.co.uk, Shopzilla.de, Shopzilla.fr, and Bizrate.co.uk.
As with Shopping.com, these services charge a minimum fee per category, typically ranging from $0.35 to around a dollar, an extra $0.10 if you have a logo with the product, and the final rate dependent on bidding. Merchants with the highest bid are listed first, until the visitor re-sorts the list, a common system with a number of these shopping sites.
NexTag, yet another popular site — with 30 million visitors a month — is also a CPC site with a category minimum and bidding for position. You don’t pay a setup fee, but you do have to fund your account before you can get started. That's the norm with all these CPC shopping directories, but NexTag’s $150 minimum to start is a little higher than most.
You can load data into a web-form system if you have only a few products. If you have more, you'll want to use a datafeed file. NexTag will take any datafeed file; if you create one for Yahoo! Shopping, for instance, you can use the same one for NexTag. Just send the Yahoo! one to your NexTag account manager, and he will handle it.
Pricewatch isn't well known outside geek circles, though it claims to be The Web's very first price comparison site: It’s been in business since 1995. Many people in the computer business use Pricewatch to buy their hardware after checking pricing at the site; the site used to be limited to computers, peripherals, and accessories, though it has branched out in recent years.
This crude system appeals to UNIX geeks in particular. It's fast and has few graphics on the search page (or even on the results pages in most cases).
The Pricewatch folks claim to serve over 400 million pages each month, so if you have products in their categories, you may want to look into working with them.