Taking care of custom needs

Wednesday, August 09, 2006 at 2:00 PM

By Sundar Subbarayan, Google Base Partner Solutions team

Lana, Ed and I from the Google Base Partner Solutions team work primarily with partners who have a lot of content and need some help getting it into Google Base. We work with companies across a lot of verticals including vehicles, jobs, products, people profiles, merchants, and reviews, among many others.

For example, a few months ago we worked with the U.S. government to get clinical trial data from http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. When we contacted the folks from this agency, they were more than happy to have their data in Google Base, but they didn't have the resources or the capacity to generate a feed for it. So we worked with them to crawl their site, find the clinical trial pages, extract the attributes, generate a Google Base feed and have it submitted. (Now you can search for them.)

Another example of a particular request is helping traditional brick and mortar retail stores get their product inventory data into Google Base. For a retailer who may have several hundred stores and several thousand product items in each one, generating a feed is not an easy task. We help mitigate this problem by taking two separate feeds -- one a store location feed for all of the stores, and another a product inventory feed of all products they might sell in these stores, with a reference to one or more store IDs in the product feed. Then we merge the two feeds to generate a single really large Google Base feed.

The really cool thing about all this is that whether it's a single listing from an individual, or a feed we generate by doing custom work for a partner, both are treated the same way, and they could potentially appear side by side in the search results, depending on what a searcher is looking for.

What makes working on Google Base exciting for us is the feedback we get from our partners -- like hearing anecdotally about a site's traffic quadrupling because people could now find them on Google. Of course, it's not always such praise that keeps us ticking. Sometimes it's the fun of the challenges our partners bring in. The work we did for traditional brick and mortar retail stores was born out of such a request. Either way we'd love to hear more from you.