Sellers who offer items on marketplaces will no longer be able to submit their own individual feeds to Google Base, Google announced.
Beginning Dec. 1, marketplaces will be required to submit feeds for individual merchants through multi-client accounts. Google says it will retire individual seller accounts to eliminate duplicate feeds and return more relevant results to buyers.
Google has already done away with the single-submission option that allowed users to upload items to Google Base one at a time. Users are now encouraged to submit information about their products using feeds, or automated text files. But Google staff has begun contacting users with individual seller accounts to inform them that their accounts will be "retired," sellers report.
Many marketplaces, including eBay, already submit products via feeds on behalf of their customers, and should not be affected by the change. Auctiva Commerce allows merchants to automatically submit products to Google Base every time they add new inventory. Users need to enable this only once by going into the Google Base page within the Marketing tab of their admin pages.
Receiving submissions from marketplaces through multi-client accounts will benefit both buyers and sellers, according to Google.
"By allowing marketplaces better control over their sellers' product data, shoppers get more accurate and relevant information when they search for things to buy on Product Search, and individual sellers don't need to submit their own feeds," writes Paul Lee, Google Product Search's business product manager.
Marketplaces will be responsible for ensuring users' feeds are up to date and compliant with Google's new policies. "Changes in item information should be submitted to Google Base within 24 hours," Google notes.
Sellers who used Google Base to host pages for their items should submit their data feeds without anything in the "link" attribute, adds Ioannis Kalafatis, a Google Base product manager.
For more information on changes to Google Base submissions, visit Google Base's help section.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.