Google Slowly Rolling Out its new "Google Merchant Center"

Google Base was launched several years ago as an online classifieds database (similar to Craigslist), but never really caught on as such.

However online merchants using the Base interface found much success as it would be integrated into what was then called Froogle, then Google Shopping, and now Google Product Search, particularly when their products got “one-boxed” into the front page of Google.

Now it looks like Google is slowly phasing away from their Base platform (currently the only way to get products listed on Google Products) and into what they’re calling the “Google Merchant Center”.

We wanted to let you know that your Google Base account will be upgraded to a new interface called “Google Merchant Center” in the next few days. We won’t announce this publicly until it actually launches, but we wanted to make sure you were aware in the meantime so it didn’t take you by surprise.

Over the last few years, we’ve noticed that the majority of providers use Google Base to upload their product data for Google Product Search. To better serve those of you who upload products, we’ve decided to create the new Google Merchant Center. This means you’ll be able to go to the Merchant Center to upload product feeds, check on your accounts, and get information about your product listings. Google Base will no longer handle product uploads.

To make things easier, we’ll be migrating all of your information, including your feed schedule and FTP information, from Google Base to the new Google Merchant Center. Once it becomes available, you’ll be able to sign in to the Google Merchant Center with your existing Google
Base login information. The new Merchant Center is very similar to the current Google Base interface, so we hope that you’ll find it easy to use.

As always, thank you for participating in Google Product Search.

It doesn’t look like much will change at all, and merchants won’t even have to do anything if they’re currently automatically sending their feeds out on a daily basis, but it’s certainly symbolic that Google is taking their own comparison shopping engine very seriously as it has gained much traction since it first launched.

We’ve also gotten emails from account managers at Google recently who are available to help with a handful our merchants’ accounts–who previously were unavailable. Prior to this, the only way to get any sort of live help would be through their generic e-mail system, and via the Google Base forums.

It’s yet to be seen what sort of threshold will be required of merchants on Google to receive an account manager and/or a merchant center.

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