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Froogle - What is it good for?
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    Froogle - What is it good for?
    by Ed Kohler

    Have you been to Froogle yet? It’s a new product search engine from Google. It’s actually existed for almost a year now, but it only went live as a link from Google’s homepage in the past month. It's quite possibly the greatest online marketing tool for retailers ever invented.

    What is Froogle?

    Froogle is a product specific search engine that indexes catalogs of online retailers and compiles the information for their users. Search for DVD Players, and you’ll come up with 37,000 options as of this writing. You can then filter down to DVD Players between $200-300 and still have 581 choices. Want a DVD/VCR combo? Add VCR to the search query to filter down to 209 options, and then sort by price with one click.

    That should explain the power of this program for consumers, but how do retailers make the most out of this by getting in front of their prospective customers for the products they sell?

    The Froogle Feed

    While Froogle will likely visit your catalog, index it, and add the products to their search engine, the better way to go is to send Froogle a data feed. This is basically a text file listing your product names, descriptions, pricing information, images, and the URL of each product within your cart. This will help Froogle accurately serve your cart's products with up to date pricing..

    What does it cost?

    Nothing. Submitting to Froogle is free, and you can do it as often as once a day (but at least once a month). Google has also stated that they plan to keep Froogle free by serving Google Adwords ads alongside the Froogle search results.

    How do I build a Froogle Feed?

    After signing up with Froogle, they will send you an extensive set of instructions on how to create a Froogle feed. If you have a small set of products, you could easily whip up a Froogle feed in a spreadsheet like Excel, then save it as a text file for upload to Froogle. However, if you have a large inventory with volatile pricing, you’ll probably want to look into exporting a Froogle feed from your database. One way to do this is to have your webmaster script a tab delimited file on your in-stock inventory so you can easily save it off and load it whenever you make changes. If you want to turn that up another notch, have your webmaster script your Froogle feed to automatically FTP itself on a regular schedule.

    Get Froogling

    If you have an online catalog and aren’t Froogling you’re passing up additional sales. Sign up with Froogle today and get your Froogle on.

    Ed Kohler is president of Haystack In A Needle and creates Froogle Feeds for his clients. Contact Ed today to get Froogling.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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