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Google Merchant Center has compiled your global product catalog and it is a part of your strategy for Google Ads or Google Shopping. Now that you’ve put in the hard work, did you know that it could help you evaluate another important aspect of your shopping experience: site search?

Evaluating a search solution often requires front-end and back-end developers, and a heavy investment of resources before ever seeing tangible results. In this post, we will review how you can use Google Merchant Center and the Algolia dashboard to build a POC in minutes – no coding skills required.

Algolia powers search and discovery over 9,000 customers – from Fortune 100 companies to small businesses and startups. It is our mission to make exceptional search and discovery experiences available to every company. Here is how to get started quickly.

Results in no time

The data from your Google Merchant Center product catalog can easily be exported, and then imported into Algolia with a user-friendly drag and drop interface that takes seconds. Once the data is loaded, the Algolia dashboard will let you search the data in a live UI.

1. Export the feed from the Merchant Center

  • After logging in to the Merchant Center, select ‘Products’ -> ‘Feeds’.

  • Click on the overflow menu (3 dots) in the feed pane (not the top right) -> ‘Download’.

  • Save the file as text.

  • Rename the file to TSV.

2. Load the data into Algolia

Go to https://www.algolia.com/users/sign_up and sign up for the completely free trial (no credit card required).

  • Select the nearest data center.

  • Press the ‘Create Index’ button. You will need to send the data to our servers so we can search into it, the data is put in an index which is a super fast data model optimized for search. You can name it anything you want.

  • Enter a name and press the ‘Create’ button

  • Select ‘Add records’ -> ‘Upload file’

  • Drag and drop the TSV file and press Upload

Congratulations, you have indexed your data in Algolia!

From here, you can test basic search queries in our dashboard.

What’s next?

If you want to take it a step further, you can:

  • Configure the search engine to improve the relevance or search results.
  • Add a business metric (like conversion, popularity, or profit margin). The Google product feed doesn’t include it, but this can be added as a custom field, or Algolia can be integrated to Google Analytics to get this information.

And, of course, we are happy to help! If you are interested in more information on the value Algolia can bring to your business please contact us and we can help you optimize your trial, view your data in a live online search, or assist with any other questions. Happy searching!

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