Feed Managers a Feed Manager is a Third Party

that translates the information from your website on a separate platform. You select the fields you need yourself and link them to the necessary fields from Google.

Advantage: one environment for all your exports, also to other shopping platforms.

Disadvantage: no direct link, but via a separate channel.

Plugin

A second option is a direct plug-in in your website to Google Merchant Center. This replaces the option of a feed manager, but it is directly to Google. 

Advantage: direct link with Google.

Disadvantage: extra scripts on your website often contain more functions than just the necessary export, making it slower.

XML export

You can also make the export yourself, by filling in the fields exactly as Google wants them. You can often arrange this with your website builder if they understand XML exports. This is less advisable when you have a lot of changes (such as stock) in your products.

Advantage: direct lightweight coupling.

Disadvantage: this requires customization from the website builder.

Google Merchant Center or CSS

To link the product feed to Google’s Search Engine, you need a platform that turns your product feed into visible products again.

For this, Google has created its Merchant Center. This removes all products from the product feed, recognizes the errors, explains how you can fix them and makes the redirection to organic Owner/Partner/Shareholder Email Lists and paid search results within the shopping environment.

Owner Partner Shareholder Email Lists

It is also possible to make this connection via a third-party platform, a Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) partner. These are a kind of comparison sites that also display their affiliated webshops within Shopping and do exactly the same as Google with Merchant Center.

Pretty crazy right? A comparable service from third parties? This arose from a years-long procedure in which Google received a hefty fine of 2.4 billion euros from the European Commission for abuse of power. It was found that Google did not have the right to favor their Shopping ads, here they had to allow other comparison sites as well. This is how the CSS platforms were created.

And should you choose Google Merchant Center or a CSS? That’s a tough question, it has both pros and cons. With a CSS you get a 20% discount on your cost per click, that sounds very nice. However, you pay this CSS an extra separate rate. Google Merchant Center is from Google itself and it is just free to use. There are many CSS systems and they all work differently and have their advantages and disadvantages.

Link to Google Ads

Fortunately, this long process ends with Google Ads. In this advertising platform you link your CSS or Merchant Center account with your advertising account. You can then create a Google Shopping campaign and choose which products you want to display.

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