The Blog for GW Pens

A peek at what we make

Google, I Call Shenanigans!

copter1At 1000 Markets, there are a lot of tools available to help your items develop a presence on the web. One that I recently started to use is Google Base. I had given this a shot in the past through other sales venues I was on without much luck, so I was a bit reluctant to try it again. But the simple automatic updates really made it not only easy, but I suddenly found myself checking to see how my items were doing there.

What Google Base does, is it takes your items and lists them in Google Shopping results. When you log in, you can see how many times each of your items was displayed in somebody’s search and, from there, how many times people clicked through to the item directly after seeing it.

So there I was just the other night, looking through my Google Base results. Hey, will ya look at that! My helicopter craft kit toy has appeared in search results quite a number of times. Hmmm, nobody has clicked through to see it directly. I wonder why? Off I went to do my own search, using the words “helicopter craft kit”.

Now you have to understand something before I go any further. I go to painstaking extremes to make sure my toys are completely safe and splinter-free. Every toy goes through 4 stages of sanding starting at 120 grit and finishing at 400 grit. Sharp edges are given soft roundovers. I don’t ship out a toy until I feel it’s safe enough for me to give to my own kids. Because of what some might call a mild case of fanaticism over toy safety, I also make it a point to detail just how safe my toys are in their descriptions.

So imagine my surprise when the search for “helicopter craft kit” returned a truncated description that reads:

“This craft kit has a total of 12 pieces and even includes a 4 oz. bottle of … get splinters while playing with the helicopter and spinning the propellers.


I admit- at first I laughed. Almost hysterically. Then I thought to myself, no wonder why nobody clicked through to see my toy. Even I wouldn’t have clicked through to see it if I knew it would give me splinters from playing with it…and it was my toy!!

Of course, you won’t get splinters from my toy. Google chose to truncate my description immediately after the word “won’t”, leading readers to think this toy is only for those looking to inflict bodily harm. I went off and reworded my description, completely removing the word “splinters” so as not to even give Google the chance to cause this sort of mischief again.

Incidentally, it turns out that Google truncates based partly on the search criteria. Several searches that were slight variations of my original gave results that merely insinuated you might get splinters from my toy, whereas the original seemed to all but guarantee it.

The moral of this story is to be careful of your item descriptions and check them out afterwards. You never know what Google might choose to show shoppers.


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This entry was posted on May 26, 2009 by and tagged , , .
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