Ciao, Bing's alternative to Google Base/Products

If you are retailing your products on your website, hopefully you know all about Google's free product search engine, Google Base. But did you know that the Bing search engine has a similar feature called "Ciao"?

The big difference between Google Base and Ciao, however, is that Ciao is not free. Ciao works on a pay-per-click principle, similar to Google AdWords. So each time somebody clicks on your link through to your website, you pay a fixed fee to Ciao/Bing.

The payment amounts are fixed and depend on the product categories (and value) so you can't pay more per click to try to get higher rankings. This helps to keep prices low.

Just like Google Base, the big advantage of Ciao is that the people using it are looking for the specific products you are selling and are usually looking to buy. It's highly target traffic and so it can be extremely cost effective.

You'll need to send a datafeed of all of your products to Ciao, just like you do with Google Base, but unfortunately, you can't just use the same datafeed because the formats are different. If you use Virtuemart for your shopping cart software, you can use OpenGlobal's Product Feed software, or contact us on 0845 269 9624 to help you find the necessary plugin for your shopping cart software.

You need to make sure that your product feed contains all of the necessary product information because the default search result order is by "Popularity", not by price. Simply having the cheapest products will not guarantee you the highest results.

OpenGlobal can help you to get your Ciao program set up correctly and to ensure that your product feed contains all of the necessary product data to get the best results. Contact us today on 0845 269 9624 to find out how we can increase your online sales.

Please note, since writing this article, Google's product search engine has now also started charging a fee.