Google will begin using information compiled by data aggregators to provide information to consumers in the growing Google Products area. The company has done this before, but things are different now. The search engine once tried walling off internal information from products like Froogle and Google Product. Now comes Google Product Search with product pages that compile “all the information” Google has on a product. Google manager Brian Lam blogged yesterday that the company would “[work] with suppliers and manufacturers to get product data straight from the source.” The company chose Edgenet, a data company that organizes information from thousands of companies in multiple sectors, including consumer electronics, furniture and “general merchandise”. “Manufacturers and suppliers can work directly with Edgenet’s Ezeedata service to submit high-quality product data and images to Google,” wrote Lam yesterday.
Your takeaway as a small business leader is to first learn if your products are covered by Edgenet and then ensure that the data is correct. This is another way to compete with larger companies, but only if you take action. This is a second click issue, an online marketing concept that descibes how a search engine not only controls the first click on its own property, but the second click as well by actually publishing data. Forget whether that is a good or bad thing or who should control the information. The bottom line is that the company with the vast majority of North American search data is now pushing its product specifications further and wider than ever before.
That means you need to find out who their data partners are and put your best foot forward. Given a choice between information on the screen at a trusted entity like Google and a click to an unknown company, small businesses are going to lose traffic to the search engine. At the very least, make sure the product information is accurate.
Source: “Going to the Source to Improve Product Data“, Google Merchant Blog, 1/9/2011
Source: “The Fight for the Second Click“, MediaPost, 1/3/2008 Image by George Takis via free license.