Saturday, September 15, 2012

Indexing Catalog with Google

It is a case of dream coming true. You can get all the publicity in the world for your business and limitlessly sell products to online shoppers by indexing your catalog in one of the largest, most popular search engines on the Web - GOOGLE.
Google has lately introduced an advanced system whereby it scans printed catalogs (please note printed catalogs and not online catalogs) into a JPEG format and then runs what is known as an optical character recognition (OCR) program over the JPEG image to convert it into a Web page. The scanned information is then saved to a searchable database.
When browsers enter a search term that matches text in your catalog, Google's catalog search immediately displays a small version of your catalog. The search terms are highlighted in yellow and when they click on the small imagenthey can view the entire page. The new service will allow you to search through the contents of catalogs from over 600 companies.
When you are viewing a catalog page, a friendly navigation bar appears at the top of the screen. This bar facilitates your browsing through the catalog page by page, as if you were flipping the pages of a real catalog. Additionally, youcan also use a keyword to search within a particular catalog or jump to specific pages within it, using the navigation bar. The bar also lets you know the contact particulars about the catalog merchant.
During the trial period, the whole scanning and indexing process is done free by Google. But it certainly cannot be that such a potentially valuable service will remain free for ever. Rush your catalog to Google before the search engine decides to charge fees andmakes this new project a commercial venture. You have two options. Either submit a form to Google recommending the catalog providing all contact information or mail the catalog to Google directly. It is now a great boon to all small businesses to compete with mail order giants without frittering awaytheir entire promotional budget to print and mail catalogs to prospective clients.

As stated earlier, Google Catalogs currently has a collection from over 600 companies. If back issues are included, then the total number of catalogs indexed will be around 1,500. However, Google wants to further raise this number and are vigorously soliciting catalogs from its users as also other catalog vendors. Catalogs pertaining to liquor, tobacco, firearms, or similar products are not acceptable. Catalogs that do not clearly mention the product prices will also not be mentioned. Google is continuously updating its catalog index on an almost daily basis, so new catalogs may appear at any time.
It is pertinent to note that so far, all the catalogs are only from US-based companies. There are no immediate plans to add catalogs from other countries outside the United States. But a rethinking is very likely depending on feedback from users.
Even if you succeed with Google, an online catalog alone may not increase your sales meaningfully. Many online visitors will not be keen to take the pains to call to place an order. They mayas well choose another site that allows placing orders online. Get into a state of total readiness if you want to be in the race. It's a great way to get a Web presence and when this is further strengthened by your top search engine rank, you will open the floodgates for interested visitors to enter deep into your Web site.

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