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Data Feeds

Data Feeds

If your Web site is an e-commerce site, you have more places at which you can register. There’s a whole ’another category of search engines - shopping directories. These are giant catalogs of products. Search for digital camera, for instance, and you see a page with pictures of cameras, their prices, links to the appropriate Web sites, and so on. (A few of these services, such as NexTag, list services as well as products.)

Most of these directories expect you to pay, though not all do. Google Product Search is completely free, for example. In general, the ones that do expect you to pay charge only when someone clicks a link to visit your site, so these directories may be worth experimenting with.

Finding the Shopping Directories

The following directories are probably the most important shopping directories to research. Go to each one and try to find information about signing up and uploading your data. In some cases, that process is simple the directory wants you to join, so you find a link that reads something like Sell on Our 3 or Merchant Info. Sometimes, you have to dig a little deeper because the information is not clearly visible; you may need to use the Contact Us link and ask someone about signing up.

Most of these systems expect you to pay if you want to play - generally, you pay each time someone clicks a link to your site. Some let you list your products, and receive traffic, at no cost. Here is a rundown of the three types of systems:

  1. Free: You have no direct control over your position, but you don’t have to pay for any traffic you get from the site. Google Product Search is the classic example.
  2. Pay per click; fixed fee: Yahoo! Shopping is of this type. You don’t have any control over position because there’s no bidding (as there is with the following type); you pay a fixed fee per click.
  3. Pay per click; bidding: Most of the other systems charge per click, but have bidding systems that help determine your position on search results pages. (As you may expect, merchants with the highest bids are
    listed first on the page.)

What will you pay for the pay-per-Click (PPC) systems?

  1. In most cases, PPC systems don’t charge a listing fee.
  2. You have to begin by funding your account - typically $50 to $250, is which goes toward paying for your clicks.
  3. You pay each time someone clicks your link. Clicks vary in price, generally, from 10 or 15 cents up.
  4. In systems that accept bids, there’s a minimum click rate, but the actual rate is dependent on how many people are bidding and their pain threshold; in some cases, clicks could even cost several dollars.
  5. You may be charged other fees, such as a fee to place a store logo next to your listing. (Some of the PPC systems give these logos to the highest bidders free.)

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