Ok, this is for Zen Cart people running multi-site stores…I call them MALLS as you can have however many domains pointed at the site that you want… an unlimited amount actually… only limited by how many domains you want to purchase… and each domain can have its own set of products independent of others (recommended to do it this way and NOT share products/items/categories across domains as it gives a duplicate content penalty in Google, so keep each independent!) BUT as part of this, the multi-site breaks some cool mods that just don’t work very well… I had looked at the complex code and just figured I’d work up a relatively easy workaround… this one is for GOOGLE FROOGLE MODULE to create the feed for Google Base (now called Merchant!) which pushes your products out into the Google Products Search which a LOT of times also ends up in the regular Google search at the top of the listings. THIS LAST PART is WHY it is important! As it provides your link AND an IMAGE and a PRICE.
If you click to “Shopping results for nike air show” you’ll see a screen like this.
Ok, so if you don’t know it is FREE to get listed in this… if you know how! Well the Google Froogle zencart mod absolutely does this! All you’ll need is a Google Account to set it up, and then with some automation on your server AND from Google Base you can get your UPDATED inventory from your ZEN CART to update the Google BASE / Shopping / Products to have and show your current inventory with a very high LISTING on Google (ONLY IF YOUR product content and item names are properly “keyword”ed will this be ranked highly!)
Ok so for regular zencart users, I hope you all are going to download this fantastic add-on! The Google Base Feeder is located right here directly – http://www.zen-cart.com/index.php?main_page=product_contrib_info&products_id=473
…and now for those of you who are using the Zen Cart Multi-Site, read on…
Ok this is NOT automated at all… but it works for SURE! Ok here is what I did step by step:
#1 I opened up a tab in zencart admin and went to Configuration – Google Base Feeder Configuration
Look at the 7th from the bottom items which is “Included Categories”. Click on it to edit it…
NOW I opened up a new tab in the admin and went to the CATALOG – Categories/Products area. Now you need to know your categories and for which domain they are located. For instance, best-radios-ever-in-the-world.com might be one of your sites and you know that you put all of your products for that site into the category called RADIOS. so look on this page and on the left most column you’ll see a number next to RADIOS.
copy this number… then head back to the other tab and…
PASTE this number into the already editable field for the INCLUDES CATEGORIES and choose update. by doing this when Google Base feeder runs, it will ONLY look at this category of products. The other important field to modify here is the “Output File Name” – click this and edit it to say “radios” then update. THIS will create the name of the feed dedicated to this domain.
NOW open up another tab in the admin and go to TOOLS – Google Base Feeder and click the “Create Product Feed” link [HERE] This will give you the standard pop up window… wait a bit and then it will indicate it is done.
Next step, go to FTP and find your FEED directory in the root of your zencart site and download radio_products.xml to your local computer. You’ll now need to clean up this file to be useable for Google Base/Merchant… you’ll want to copy paste replace the incorrect domain name into the feed… so if your default domain name for the admin site is www.mymasterdomain.com, then you’ll need to find it and replace all occurrences with www.best-radios-ever-in-the-world.com
BINGO! You are done. This file is NOW correct and ready for manual upload to Google Base. HOWEVER, you’ll also want to re-upload this back to the FEED folder via FTP and replace the wrong one. PLUS, once it is there you can reference it and schedule an auto upload from Google Base. The feed location would be: http://www.best-radios-ever-in-the-world.com/feed/radio_products.xml Also, you’ll need to setup individual Google Accounts to have separate Google Base Accounts for each domain name so don’t forget that either.
I am going to be working on a mod to make Google Base Feeder and Google Sitemaps work correctly with Zen Cart Multi-Site AND possibly add in a separate USER based admin to show ONLY that particular store’s information in the admin… sounds like a Zen Cart Multi-User Mall concept…