Monday, April 18, 2011

Google Product Feed Changes

Beginning May 3, Google will require all sellers to have a unique product identifier in each listing.  For books, the unique product identifier is the ISBN.  The ISBN has already been required; however, Google has not been enforcing it.  After May 3, book listings that do not have the required ISBN will no longer show in Google's product search.   Please note that Google's product search is found by clicking on "shopping" at the top of Google's main page.  The new requirement does not affect the main Google search.

The trouble is that books copyrighted before 1970 do not have an ISBN, so we cannot include that information in our listings for those books.  Google is requesting that each seller ask for an exemption for those items.  Follow this link for the request page on Google.  On that page, fill in your information. Bonanza has provided directions in the Bonanza blog for where to find the necessary information in your Bonanza account.

Click on "Google" in My Bonanza and find your Google account ID.  The Bonanza blog has a screen cap that will show you which number to use.  Enter that number in Google's form and also enter your booth's URL.  Select "Pre-1970 books" and request the exemption.  You should hear back within a couple of days. 

I get very few sales through Google's product search, but I also want my books to remain in that search so that the possibility of sales exists. 

13 comments:

Paula said...

This comment isn't about Google, but about a recent Bonanza change that has me needing to vent a bit. I'm quite frustrated that Bonanza once again has made a change that has reduced the size of the "enlarged" pictures displayed from within the item description page.

Previously, clicking on one of the pictures on the item description page, would cause a nice large closeup of the picture to display in a pop-up. It filled the screen and the buyer could scroll up and down to see great detail. Now a click on the same picture results in a pop-up display of the picture in about the same size! What's the point?

In the smaller pictures, as they are displaying now, it is very difficult IMO to see the kind of detail - wear, etc. - that is important to buyers of vintage books. As a seller, I like to provide large clear pictures so that the buyer knows what they are purchasing. Now the pictures are so shrunken by Bonanza, it is difficult to make out the kind of detail that I think is required for vintage items.

Bonanza made this same change once before, and then, I assume as a result of the complaints they received, within days, changed it back. To my great relief at the time! I am now perturbed to see it again...

What is most frustrating is that when I contacted Bonanza, the reply I got this morning asked me to provide a link "displaying the behavior"! OMG, it's everwhere - it's a major system change! The help desk people don't know what I'm talking about? I feel like I'm in the Twilight zone when I get a response like that.

So help me out here... am I the only one who has noticed this? Is this an issue for anyone else? I certainly prefer the way the "enlarged" pictures were displaying previously, and hope that Bonanza returns to that format. I'm wondering what other buyers and sellers think of this.

Paula said...

Here's an update on my previous comment. After three rounds of emails back and forth explaining in ever more detail what I was talking about, I received this response from Bonanza support: "When the listing page layout was changed the image display was also changed. The images cannot be made larger." Period. That was the extent of the last response.

So I guess that means if I want to show my buyers better/larger pictures, I have to host my own pictures and include them in the description with HTML - sound familiar? :(

I've suggested in reply that Bonanza take the road of the camel. Make the pictures smaller so that they display on the screen without scrolling, but at least enlarge them to show more of the original detail than what is already shown on the item description page. What is the point of a pop-up "enlargement" of a photo that doesn't actually enlarge the picture? As a buyer, I hate when that happens! I'm clicking on the picture because I want to see more detail.

I do want to comment that overall I think the recent item listing changes on Bonanza were very good improvements. Things like item traits and shipping discounts are clearly visible to the buyers now, where they were kind of hidden before. If you had any calculated shipping prices, better check them though. I had a few items (book lots) for which I had used calculated shipping, and they were messed up after the listing changes. Unfortunately, I just noticed it today, but they were easily fixed by re-selecting media mail. As I said though, I like the new layout.

Re: the Google Product Feed changes, has anyone tried for an exemption yet? Have you been approved? Just wondering what you all are doing.

Jennifer said...

On the images, I have not noticed a big difference regarding my items. My pictures may be a smaller size than yours, which is why I haven't noticed a big change. I did check out the images in three different browsers, and I observed that the images are smaller in Firefox and Internet Explorer than they are in Google Chrome.

I have received my Google exemption. I read that some people are getting declined if their items that do have unique product identifiers are not in compliance. For instance, if the ISBN is not entered for books printed after 1970, then we need to get those books in compliance before we will be granted an exemption for books printed before 1970.

Furthermore, books printed before 1970 need to have the copyright year entered into the appropriate field. That year is what is required for old books rather than the ISBN. I always enter the copyright field into the Item Traits regardless of whether the book has the ISBN.

If someone applies for the exemption and is declined, then that people can apply again after correcting the items that are not in compliance.

Coffeegulper said...

Hello Paula,

I just went to your Bonanza booth to test out the picture size. Chose several listings and clicked the related photo----they're actually SMALLER than the main photo in your listings, which actually makes this new change seem more stupid than ever!
Why click a photo if not only is it going to show an enlarged version.....but a SMALLER one at that?
Ridiculous.

Richard

Coffeegulper said...

Hello Paula,

I just went to your Bonanza booth to test out the picture size. Chose several listings and clicked the related photo----they're actually SMALLER than the main photo in your listings, which actually makes this new change seem more stupid than ever!
Why click a photo if not only is it going to show an enlarged version.....but a SMALLER one at that?
Ridiculous.

Richard

Paula said...

Richard, Thanks for responding. It's nice to know someone else is seeing the same thing I am. I've noticed the picture size of the "enlarged" pop-up picture unexplainably seems to fluctuate - sometimes it is about the same size as the main picture frame shown in the description, and other times it *is* even smaller than the main picture! I saw that earlier tonight also. Amazingly inane!

Jennifer said...

Richard, thanks for checking on the picture size. I checked when Paula first posted, and all that I could figure out is that the pictures did not enlarge as much in certain browsers. I made that observation for all of the sellers I checked. I was unable to see smaller pictures. It is interesting to know that the picture enlarge function is not rendering correctly for all users.

I wonder if the picture issue could be related to the Windows operating system? There has to be some commonality that would explain why people like me do not see a problem and others have a problem with the pictures.

What I can conclude for certain is that there is a glitch with the picture enlarge function but that it does not affect all of us.

Paula said...

Jennifer,
I think you said you use Google Chrome as your browser - is that right? What operating system do you have? Thanks!

Jennifer said...

I'm on Windows Vista. I use Google Chrome for most of my Bonanza stuff, although I use Firefox sometimes for Bonanza. I hate Internet Explorer and only use it to check up on glitches and such.

I also have a Windows XP computer that I seldom use. I just checked Bonanza on it with Firefox, and the photos seem the same. I will say that I think that the photos are displaying somewhat smaller for me than they did a few months ago, but it is not enough for me to say for certain.

I also have access to a Windows 7 computer, but I can't check it right now.

Coffeegulper said...

Hi Jennifer and Paula:
Yes, I checked again tonight before posting here, and it's the same as before: smaller than the main photo in the listing (and it seems to be the same for any seller's listing at Bonanza).

Strange....just bought a couple of books from Paula a few weeks ago, and back then, you could see a REALLY magnified shot if you wanted to.
Hmmm....
Oh, and I'm using IE with Windows XP. I don't like Vista! I'll switch if I'm forced to, though. :)

Richard

Paula said...

I've learned from past bad experiences not to let Windows update itself automatically. The last time I had updated was in Feb of this year.

After reading Jennifer's comment, I spent some time today updating Windows 7; that did not make a difference to my Bonanza displays. I then proceeded to allow IE to update from version 8 to 9. Sigh... as usual, an update like this changes the whole look of the browser, so I couldn't find anything, my home page was changed, yada yada... BUT... the Bonanza "enlargement" pop-up *is* bigger now!

The new display is nowhere near as enlarged as before, when my picture would fill the screen and you had to scroll up and down to see the whole picture, but at least it *is* an enlargement. (I realize that not everyone likes the picture to be so large, but I did as the detail you could see was great.) I can now see a bit more detail than what is visible in the gallery frame in the item description, so that is good. The bad news is that the enlarged picture is quite fuzzy and, believe me, it was not when I uploaded it. It's almost as if my pictures were resized and made smaller (sharpness was lost) and then they were made bigger again (sharpness cannot be regained so the details become fuzzy /choppy looking).

I will have to see what happens when I add new pictures, as I haven't listed anything new since the listing changes took effect.

But I wanted to post here the "solution" for the original problem I had, in case anyone else is looking for a work-around. Apparently, Bonanza's latest changes do not work correctly with Internet Explorer 8. (Richard, I'm wondering what browser you are using?)

Thanks very much to Richard and Jennifer who helped me! :)

Jennifer said...

I have also had bad experiences with automatic Windows updates. I recall one update that blocked my internet access, and I had to roll back the update to get internet access again. It's sad that we can't trust Microsoft.

I think that the enlarged photos are slightly smaller than they once were, but I still have not seen anything like what others have described. I noticed another report of photos not enlarging at all for someone, so it is apparent that some people are having problems.

Coffeegulper said...

Hi Paula,
Must've missed this part of your post:
I use IE7. Updated to IE8 a couple years back, but it had so many problems! (And I never knew there was an IE9, now).

I have no idea if my operating system is what is making the photos at Bonanza appear really small, because everything looks the same wherever else I go, online.

Richard