Content API for Shopping Office Hours - June 12, 2012

Uploaded by GoogleDevelopers on 12.06.2012


DANNY HERMES: I'm Danny Hermes, a member of developer
relations here at Google.
I work on commerce, as many of you know.
And we're here to talk today about the
content API for Shopping.
And, in particular, we have two guests to talk about the
Google Affiliate Network and product listing ads.
So right next to me is Claire Hugo.
She works on PLAs here in Mountain View with me.
And in the pink shirt, I'll let him introduce himself, is
Mark Coppin from Chicago, to talk about GAN.
So to start us off, Mark has a few words to say.
And then we'll be fielding questions from you guys.
So, Mark?
MARK COPPIN: Sure, thanks Danny.
I'm Mark Coppin.
I'm a manager on the Google Affiliate Network.
We are a cost-per-acquisition, or
cost-per-sale, advertising network.
It's a little different pricing model than CPC or CPM.
And the relevant piece here is that we also use content, or
products, that advertisers are submitting to Merchant Center,
and make those available to our publishers through publish
fees and the content API.
So I thought I'd join and see if anyone had any questions
about our product.

DANNY HERMES: So if you guys can't think of anything right
now, I can get Mark to come back another time.
I know you guys have some other concerns about some of
the announcements.
But if you have questions right now, then Mark is a
great resource.
So anybody have anything they're curious about with
Google Affiliate Network?
JOHN: Yeah, sorry it's John here.
Mark, could you just spend two minutes just walking through
what the process is and how ads get tied up with content
feed, if you don't mind please, Mark.
MARK COPPIN: Sure, so our publishers join our network.
They actually have to have an AdSense account because we pay
through AdSense.
But once a publisher has joined our network they can
apply to work with specific advertisers.
So one thing that's a little unique about the affiliate
advertising space compared to, say, display networks, is
that-- sorry there's some construction
going on around here--
is that publishers choose what advertisers they want to work
with and what ads they would like to run on their site.
In a lot of cases, the content on a publisher's site is the
actual ads.
You can think of like a loyalty model or a coupon site
that's aggregating coupon content or
products on their site.
That is more the typical affiliate business model than,
say, I just want to put an ad tag on my site and let a
network fill it and do yield optimization for me.
A lot of affiliate publishers are doing their own yield
optimization and content aggregation.
So specific to the content API, you can think of
publishers that are creating virtual shopping experiences.
They're comparing products, are letting consumers compare
products on their site, and then sending those consumers
off to the advertiser's site for, hopefully, a conversion.
So compare prices, and colors, and descriptions,
and stuff like that.
And then send that traffic to a Kohl's to actually purchase
a product and then earn a commission on that purchase.
So that's sort of the more typical business model for an
affiliate publisher.

Does anybody have any other questions?

All right, thanks Mark.
We do have some questions for me Andrew Lamonica in his
absence today.
But he sent them to me when he heard we were going to be
talking a bit about ads and the Affiliate Network.
So Mark, if you want to head out, feel free.
Otherwise, if you want to stick around, we would love to
have you for further input.
So the first question from Andrew, how, if at all, does
including AdWords PLAs affect normal Google Product Search
For example, if he Googles "funny yellow mechanical
pencil" and the PLA for his oddly-specific product shows
up, will that prevent his product from also showing up
in Shopping results module in Natural Search?
So, Claire?
CLAIRE HUGO: So PLAs do not affect an item showing up in
Google Product Search.
And so if you're promoting a product through product
listing ads and then also through Product Search, then
you have the opportunity to show in both channels.
DANNY HERMES: Thank you.
As a follow up--

actually, do you want to restate this question?
CLAIRE HUGO: The second one?
CLAIRE HUGO: OK, so the second question was about the seller
reviews that show alongside Product Search results.
So, in some cases, some companies have that available,
and some do not.
And so this question is more specific to Product Search.
And if you go to the Google Merchant Help Center and
search on seller ratings, there's a full article about
how we will automatically crawl third-party review sites
and then match those ratings for our results.
And if they're not appearing for a particular merchant,
there is some information there on how to research that
and how to escalate sale.
And those can be reviewed as well.
DANNY HERMES: OK, so it's sort of a third party combined with
also some other input from the merchants themselves.

So another question from Andrew was about errors.
So if there are products that are disapproved for Product
Ads, but not disapproved for Product Search,
how can they tell?
Will this show up in the data quality section?
Or is there some other place that they should be going to
find out about these errors?
CLAIRE HUGO: So if there are items that are disapproved for
our Product Listing Ads, that should typically be listed in
the Data Quality tab.
For example, if an item has a trademarked term in the title,
and it's disapproved for the trademark, then that would be
apparent on that Data Quality tab.
There's also information on the Products tab where we have
two columns, one for Product Search and
one for Product Ads.
So you're able to see a green check mark if it's approved
for Product Search.
And then, say, the item was disapproved for a trademark,
then you would see the red circle for Product Ads.
And on the Data Quality tab is a good
place to see the summaries.
You can see 5%, or the number of items disapproved for a
particular reason.
But on the Products tab is where you can see for
individual products.
DANNY HERMES: Great, and Andrew also says that this is
a feature that he's interested in, and some of
you might be as well.
Since a product initially starts out as disapproved for
Product Ads and then has to be matched with a campaign, he
says it would be nice to have a way where he could filter
out and find out which ones had been
matched and which hadn't.
And that's something we're certainly going to take as
good feedback and pass along to the team.
And a final question he has, which is, again, sort of
speculative or a future request, is, are there any
plans to add a performance table for PLAs?
Or is there another place where we can see
that existing data?
CLAIRE HUGO: So right now for Product Listing Ads, the best
way to see performance data is to look
in the AdWords interface.
And there you can see impressions, clicks,
clickthrough rates, spend, conversion data if you have
Conversion Tracking implemented.
And we are making a lot of improvements to the
Performance tab in Merchant Center as well.
Hopefully you've noticed that over the past couple months.
And I would expect to see more improvements in the
short term as well.
Great answers, and in absentia,
great questions, Andrew.
So now for the people actually on the call, do you guys have
any questions for Claire or Mark, PLA questions for
Claire, or [? organic ?]
questions for Mark?
Or questions for me?
LUKE: Is it OK if I ask, could you just explain in a nutshell
again what I was reading in the announcement about how--
my understanding about, are all product listings now for
Google Product Search going to be part of the AdWords system?
You're saying you have to be submitted through Content API,
but then they have to match something in AdWords in order
to be able to be listed in Product Search?
Could you explain how that's going to work?
CLAIRE HUGO: Sure, so with the new shopping experience that
we'll be launching in October, it will require that the
Merchant Center have a linked AdWords account and have a
campaign live with product listing ads in order to show
in our Shopping property.
So that means you can continue on with it, the feed, or using
the API as normal on the Merchant Center side.
But then each account will need to have that AdWords
account linked, and a bid for each of the products to be
promoting it.
LUKE: So does that mean that once the Content API uploads a
product-- let's just say it's a new
product you've just posted--
it's going to show up in the AdWords interface under PLA?
CLAIRE HUGO: So there's a few ways you can do it.
On the AdWords side, you can create an ad group, or
campaign, to promote all products from
your Merchant Center.
So that means anytime you add a new product on the Merchant
Center side, it will automatically be matched to
that All Products target in the AdWords account.
You can also get more granular with the PLA campaign.
So if you want to bid differently for different set
of products, then you can have a target just for
your payroll products.
And then you can also have that All Products target.
So in that case, you have apparel where you want bid $1,
and then you have the All Products where
you want to bid $0.50.
And that way you still have full coverage for everything
that's being submitted through Merchant Center.
LUKE: Is there going to be minimum bidding
required for those ads?
Because I'm just imagining a situation where if you haven't
met the minimum bid for a given product, it wouldn't
show up at all, right?
CLAIRE HUGO: Right, so every time you have a Product
Listing Ad, it will enter an auction.
And the minimum bid is going to be $0.01.
With that said, if you're bidding that low, it's
possible that the traffic will be really low.
So it's a matter of understanding the products
that are being promoted, the competition, and finding that
sweet spot where it's profitable for the advertiser,
and you're getting the traffic that you're interested in.
LUKE: So you can set up an Ad Group that has, say, some
spending limit, like is it per month, I guess?
CLAIRE HUGO: You can do per day.
LUKE: OK, per day.
Right, per day.
And then they could put in some upper bid amount as a
Product Group?
And then as the Content API submits these products, as
long as they come in under that daily spend, it will keep
showing those ads, wherever they land
based on the auction?
CLAIRE HUGO: Yes, exactly.
DANNY HERMES: So Dani in the chat is asking for a
She asks, even if an advertiser is the only
advertiser, is it possible that the products won't show
up if the bid's too low?
CLAIRE HUGO: If the product had a bid associated with it,
and it's the only item that's eligible for the query, then
it should show in that case.
So that's why we're encouraging advertisers to
promote all of their products, even with a low bid.
And then we also have an incentive program that can be
found through the Commerce Blog, or the Inside AdWords
Blog, where you can get a $100 coupon for AdWords for new PLA
And if you promote all products, then you can get 10%
of your PLA spend credited to your account every month
through the end of the year.
DANNY HERMES: OK, great, super helpful.
So John is asking-- and John, Dani is asking Chet because
she doesn't have mic.
But if you want to ask with your microphone, you can.
Or I can read it, either one.
JOHN: Yeah, it's just a quick question.
How does this tie in with multi-client accounts.
DANNY HERMES: So I've actually been looking at some internal
conversations about this.
This isn't 100% clear yet.
I don't know if Claire has any insights on it.
If not, then we'll certainly update you as we know more
Do you?
CLAIRE HUGO: Yeah, that's something I would want to
follow up on to make sure [INAUDIBLE].
DANNY HERMES: Right, from what I understand, you can,
programmatically, using API's, connect each sub-account with
a different campaign.
But I don't have a really good understanding from a technical
standpoint, or from a sort of account rules, and things like
that, standpoint.
So I don't want to give you any false information yet.
But the conversations are being had internally.
And that is one of the main workflows that needs to be
ironed out.
So thanks for the question, and we'll try to
get a better answer.

LUKE: So Danny, what you're saying is that, in terms of
linking the Content API products, as we submit them
through this AdWords link, that's going to be
to-be-determined right now.
Because you said earlier the AdWords account was going to
be connected to the MCA account some kind of way, in
an automated way, [INAUDIBLE].
DANNY HERMES: So there's some other details there, like you
may want each of your individual sellers to have
their own individual AdWords account that they manage or
that they give you some settings through your
interface that you send through to manage, rather than
having a single account associated with MCA that is a
catch all for everybody.
For large marketplaces, that model probably doesn't make a
whole lot of sense because you have, all across the spectrum,
different kinds of sellers.
You have big sellers and small sellers.
You have sellers that have big marketing budgets and have
small marketing budgets.
And then you just have sellers that are probably selling
different kinds of products with different bid levels that
are found out in the actual auctioning on a regular basis.
So there are a lot of details there and a lot of tiny pieces
in the big machine to figure out.
So, like I said, there is a conversation being had.
And it's not 100% decided or determined what the way to go
about it is.
But, certainly, in the simple case, you can still associate
an AdWords account with the parent MCA.
And that will propagate across to everyone, but there's a lot
more involved.
LUKE: Is that documented somewhere?
DANNY HERMES: Not that I know of.
Is it in the Merchant Center docs?
In our docs, we certainly don't get into any of that.
CLAIRE HUGO: I don't think we have it right now, as far as
the MCA structure and the linkage.
But that's something I can [? work list ?] and share with
the content team.
DANNY HERMES: Certainly, and feedback from guys like you,
top contributors to our forums and things like that,
important members of our community, they're
things we listen to.
And work that we put out for ourselves to make documents if
there is something that there's a resounding voice
saying it's not clear, then we want it to be clear.
And we want to clear it up.
So keep giving that feedback if you see something you think
should be documented and isn't.
LUKE: There is an AdWords API, right?
DANNY HERMES: Yeah, I don't know a whole lot about it.
But certainly there are APIs for many different pieces of
the AdWords, DoubleClick, et cetera.
And very similar, if not better support, with client
libraries, and things like, and documentation for the
client libraries.
They're relatively similar.
But I'm not sure if they're API or GData APIs.
There is a little bit difference in the client
libraries when you go from one to the other.
But in either case .NET will be supported 100%, Luke.
LUKE: OK, cool.
Is there somebody like you in their division we can talk to?
DANNY HERMES: There are much bigger teams in Dev Rel.
They have many more than me.
They have three, four, five, for each particular aspect
that you would consider.
So yeah, there is AdWords Dev Rel.
There is a DoubleClick Dev Rel.
There's all kinds of things.
There are even Dev Rels specific to Androids, specific
to iOS, et cetera.
AdMob, there we go.
That's the thing I couldn't think of.
But yeah, they are a part of Dev Rel, and they are a
relatively big team.
If you go to,
you can actually see when they're doing their office
hours because it will be on the schedule.
And if you want to post a question on the forum about
what their forums are, I can reach out to some of those
team members and find the best places for you to--
LUKE: Can you give me that address again?
What was that URL?
LUKE: Slash events.
DANNY HERMES: Yeah, that's where we
post all of our events.

So does anybody have any other questions?
Or did we sort of run out of questions about PLAs, and the
integration, and the announcement,
and things like that?
Looks like Dani is typing a question.

Or maybe she's typing to say no more questions.

She says that she's trying to set up a
new PLA ad from scratch.
She made an AdGroup.
And I bet there's a question coming after.

And on the new ad she sees--
I'm going to wait until she's done and then just summarize.

OK, so she says she's trying to set up a
new PLA from scratch.
She made a new AdGroup.
And on the new ad, she sees some text, an image, an
AdBuilder, and a WAP.
Not sure what that it.
And she wants to know which one she should choose to
actually make a PLA.
CLAIRE HUGO: So when you're setting up a PLA, you want to
first extend the campaign settings to promote products
for Merchant Center.
DANNY HERMES: We can actually share our screen, if you want.
And you can do this.
And they can watch what you're doing.
Would you want to do that?
CLAIRE HUGO: Do you have an AdWords test account?
DANNY HERMES: I don't, but we can open an incognito window,
and you can sign in with yours.
I don't know if it would be--
CLAIRE HUGO: No, I can't.
DANNY HERMES: How about this, I'll invite you to the
Hangout, and you do it from your machine.
All right, technical issue here.
We're going to add one more participant.
We're going to actually add Claire's account.
I think she's already been invited, but I will make sure.

Great question, Dani, and there's nothing better than a
live demo during a Hangout.

CLAIRE HUGO: I don't actually have the login.

So, Luke, have you had a chance to check out the new
docs that I published since we last spoke?
LUKE: Yeah I did.
They're excellent.
DANNY HERMES: What do you think of the
new API for the library?
In this case, the interface for the library, rather than
the actual online API.
Much more intuitive, right?
LUKE: Yeah, I think you did a great job.
It's excellent.
DANNY HERMES: Thank you.
And I'm a Python developer.
I pretty much tried to make it as Pythonic as I could.
And it's nice--
you know, Python, you can't have different signatures for
the same function.
But I kind of like that in .NET and then
other compiler languages.
It's a cute little language, though I don't like compiling
all the time.
So I'll going to stick with my dynamic languages
on a regular basis.
But we're trying--
we don't have a writer on our team right now.
But we're trying to do to improve on those a bit more,
and combine them into a single document, and just sort of
have a choice where you pick what language,
and things like that.
But there's also some MCA and data feeds functionality in
those libraries that is there but just not
documented as well.
So we're trying to sort of balance that workload with I/O
preparation, which is quite intense right now.
So I don't know that we'll see that before July.
But it's something that's certainly on our horizon.

Do you want to just do that all of this in the Hangout?
CLAIRE HUGO: Let me see if this will work, actually.
DANNY HERMES: OK, we want to make sure it works before we
actually show it.
John, I looked into getting a Raspberry Pi.
And it is on my "that's interesting" list. I don't
know if it's quite on my to-do list just yet.
But it's something I've looked into since you suggested it
about a month ago, or whenever you brought that up.
Python for Education, yeah.

Claire is an AdWords wiz.
I can't believe it.
CLAIRE HUGO: It's just I have the account set up, so I can't
look at my test account unless I access ICS, which
I can't just by--

CLAIRE HUGO: Can I just talk through this?
CLAIRE HUGO: OK, because I can't show a portion of this
window, right?
DANNY HERMES: No, you cannot.

Sorry about that.
DANNY HERMES: OK, so Claire doesn't think she can get a
demo with enough information redacted
for it to be showable.
So she's just going to talk through some of the settings.
CLAIRE HUGO: Yeah, so once you're in the AdWords
interface, when you're creating a new campaign, or
editing an existing campaign, if you
click into that campaign--
so click on the name either in the left nav or on the
Campaigns tab in the center.
And then click on the Settings tab.
And if you scroll down, you should see an option to extend
the campaign with items from Google Merchant Center.
And this will only happen after you have linked your
Merchant Center account with your AdWords account.
So if I can just back up one step, within the Merchant
Center account, if you click on the Settings tab, and then
it will expand, and you can click on the AdWords link.
And then add your 10-digit customer ID
from the AdWords account.
And once you've done this, then in the AdWords account,
you'll see on that Campaign Settings tab the option to
extend with products from your Merchant Center account.

So once you've selected that box, when you are in the new
AdGroup, or the existing AdGroup, and you click on
Create a New Ad, among the options that Danny already
listed, you'll see the option to create a
Product Listing Ad.
CLAIRE HUGO: And there's also actually a video that goes
through all of these steps.
And that's at--
DANNY HERMES: I can link to the video in my G+ stream, in
the forum summary of this video, as well as in the
YouTube comments, or excuse me, the YouTube description of
this video.
So we will get that you guys after the fact.
But I don't think reading it aloud will be that helpful,
though putting in chat that might be.
But thanks for the question, Dani.
I think that was a good question.
And the demo I saw was pretty cool over here.
Sorry you guys couldn't see it.
If there are no more questions, we'll wrap up
before 11:00, like we usually do.
But I will allow the floor to be open for questions one last
time, going once.
LUKE: Let me ask just one more thing about impressions data.
Was impressions data still on the list for--
It's, as I found out, something that is easy to do,
though it's not something that is necessarily something we
want to do.
So it's not a yes or no.
It's in discussion.
Well, easy-- that's probably not the right way to put it.
But it is still on our radar, and it
is still being discussed.
And I'll update that bug if it does get added and certainly
update the documentation.
DANNY HERMES: So Dani is typing something.

OK so it's another PLA AdWords interface question.

This is for Merchant Center, or?
CLAIRE HUGO: That's AdWords, the Product Extension tab.
So within AdWords there is an Ad Extensions tab.
But where you want to set up the Product Listing Ads is
actually on the Auto Targets tab.

So on the Merchant Center option, it looks like she's
seeing her ID and company name.

And so that would display when you're linking the campaign to
the Merchant Center account.
And so it sounds like she may be seeing different Merchant
Center accounts listed there, which may be the case if
there's a multi-client account involved.
she still typing.

DANNY HERMES: The power of microphones.
LUKE: So Danny, as far as we know, we can't, through the
content API, add the AdWords customer ID
under MCA yet, right?
DANNY HERMES: I'm not sure about that.
I don't know in either direction.
LUKE: OK, I mean, eventually we'll want that, right?

DANNY HERMUS: Yeah, there have been talks for some more
features in the content API that give a tighter
integration between the two.
LUKE: Yeah, because I'm trying to automate it, right?
So I don't want it to manually do it, so OK.
So Dani is asking--
she sees multiple extensions from a single account.
But there are already extensions, and they
have the same name.
And she's curious which one is the correct one.
But I think without actually seeing the account it would be
a bit unclear as to what she's looking at.
Is that correct?
CLAIRE HUGO: Yeah, if they're all the same account ID, than
you should just be able to choose one of those.
But it would probably be easier to look at
the specific account.
DANNY HERMES: Dani, if you're comfortable sharing your
screen, we may be able to help.
I don't know that that's something you want to do.
Actually, you know, let's hold off on that.
But are there any particular forums that you recommend
asking questions like this or any particular things that
people should be searching for or looking for?
CLAIRE HUGO: Yeah, if there are PLA-secific questions, I
would ask a question to the AdWords forum.
And then if it's on the Merchant Center side, there's
the merchant forum.
So in either case, we'll be able to field and point users
in the right direction.

All right, Dani says thanks.
So that looks like it's going to be it for us today.
Thanks a ton to Claire.
And thanks to Mark for the introduction you gave. I'm
sorry, Mark, we couldn't feed more questions your way.
But our guests were phenomenal today, and it was
great to have them.
It certainly makes my morning a bit easier.
Everybody be well.
Our next time we meet will not be in two weeks.
It will be in four weeks because two weeks is Google
I/O, and I will be super-duper busy.
So four weeks, well, I don't know the exact date.
So I'm not going to say a wrong one.
I actually said an incorrect one for our last Hangout.
And also, I found we're being moved again.
Last time, it was from Wednesdays to Tuesdays.
Next one will be on a Thursday, but I will certainly
give ample time and may have another guess then, as well,
maybe a PM or the tech lead on the engineering team.
But maybe it'll be just me.
But thanks, everybody.
Have a nice day, or night, in John's case.
Dani, I'm not sure what time zone you're coming from.
But Mark, have a nice afternoon.
I know it's already afternoon in Chicago.
See everybody later, and thanks, everybody, for
watching on YouTube as well.
CLAIRE HUGO: Thanks guys.