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Froogle Optimization Techniques
Author: Kevin Gold
Published: Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Maximize Your “Froogling” for the Holidays

Are you familiar with Froogle? If you are an online merchant, you certainly should be. Froogle is Google’s product search engine and was launched as a “beta product” in December 2002. Froogle’s significance is in its ability to generate free “qualified” visitor traffic for online merchant products, assuming they gain “maximum exposure”.

What can “maximum exposure” in Froogle produce for online merchants? Merchants who have pursued Froogle maximization for their products have reported significant traffic and associated sales increases. One merchant generated over $19,000 in less than 20 days. Examples like this suggest that Froogle maximization is a worth-while strategy.

There are multiple ways to access Froogle, both voluntarily and involuntarily. Involuntarily methods include Google spidering your product web pages and adding them to their Froogle product index, or if you have a Yahoo or eBay store, your products may be automatically indexed. However, the most effective way to access Froogle comes through voluntarily actions on your part through submitting a data feed (txt file) directly to Froogle.

Yet rather than going into details about Froogle data feed submission techniques and requirements, the focus of this article is on highlighting the most important strategies for gaining “maximum exposure.”

Froogle maximization involves focusing your efforts on two, interdependent parts: (1) your Froogle data feed and (2) your product web page (i.e. Froogle landing page).

Maximizing Your Data Feed

The first part of Froogle maximization focuses on setting up your data feed. Unfortunately, many data feed submission programs including shopping carts build feeds that are not maximized for Froogle. Therefore, always review your data feed and implement these maximization strategies:
  • Include all relevant product information in your data feed. If you have information for optional data fields like brand or ISBN, include it. Keep in mind that the information in your data feed must match the information on your product web page.

  • Write a product name that uses a general product name, the brand name, model name, manufacturer and product type. Think about how potential buyers will search for your product and use these identifiers.

  • Keep the description around 40 – 60 characters. Recent research studies are showing that a shorter description leads to a better position – possibly a factor of a keyword relevancy factor.

  • Enter the product category path for YOUR website into the data feed; not the Froogle category. Unfortunately, Google states that many merchants enter the Froogle categories where they believe their product should be listed.

  • Use the Froogle merchant center for identifying any errors with your data feed. Although the Froogle merchant center is simple – it does provide excellent information to assist in correcting data feed issues.

  • Be careful, Google has reported problems with merchant’s website image files having a robots.txt file. The result is a Froogle listing with a missing image – a situation that can decrease visitor click-through.

  • When naming your image files, the name you give it is very important. Similar to alt tags for conventional search engine optimization, the image should use the primary product keyword such as mp3player.gif or plasmatv.gif in its naming convention.

  • Froogle does not accept images that are 90x90 or smaller. So if you do not have a larger image, then simply do not submit one. The best thing to do is send Froogle the same full-size image on your web page and they will re-size it to fit their interface.

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