HowTo – Using Google Advertising Network Link Feeds In Your Content

There are two ways that you can get Google Advertising Network links to generate product advertising information as a publisher.

The first way is FTP transfers of full product lines and the second is Emails of Daily Promotions.

The FTP method requires significant time and effort on the part of the publisher to use the data files correctly. For this reason we are not going to cover the FTP method of obtaining links at this point but I do want to describe what type of data you can expect in a FTP feed.

First you will sign up for feeds in your Subscription Tab once you logon to your GAN account.

You will need to provide a FTP server / account name / password for the FTP account that google will use to send you this information. You may be able to use your hosting account for your site to accept the files by FTP. I strongly STRONGLY suggest that you create a specific ftp account in a folder that is a separate account with storage limits and a strong password.

Once you receive the FTP Feed you can open it in a spread sheet product of your choice I recommend you start with Open Office Calc because it can process large files and it is free. These files are large.

On average the Files will be 25 to 50 even over 100 megabytes in a zip and expanded there are a few merchants that provide text files up to 1 gig in size.. THEY ARE HUGE…

These files provide a lot of data and will require a lot of your time to figure out a method of use

IMPORTANT… they are also updated every day … or many of them are so be careful unless you have your own dedicated server you may run into trouble with your hosting company for all of the data transfer.

The Email Method of GAN Link Feeds

Using emailed links is much easier then using the FTP links because of the amount of data.

Email link subscriptions are basically that weeks or days specials

The ftp ones seem to be every item that the Merchant sells.. this may be good for a site like shop local but it is a TON of data to process every day and because the files are often corrupt meaning each line is not checked for accuracy you end up with many lines that are not functioning items… partial data.. no links or other information.

Email feeds also have corruption problems.

The way you deal with them is to open them in a spreadsheet software like OpenOffice Calc which can read up to a million rows.

These are Tab Delimited CSV files and need to be imported.

Once open the first line will describe the data below.

Advertiser Site Name  |  Link ID |  Link Name  |  Merchandising Text  |  Alt Text  |  Start Date  |  End Date  |  Clickserver Link  |  Image URL  |  Image Height  |  Image Width  |  Link URL  |  Promo Type  |  Merchant ID

The first column shows the merchant name
the second column is a specific id for that promotion good for excluding duplicates
the third is the Link Text … used for your <a>linktext</a>
the fourth is hopefully some useful text you can place on your webpage about the item.

The final useful column is the link that you use to get paid <a href=”Clickserver Link”>linktext</a>

a completed link may look like this

Advertiser Site Name <a href=”Clickserver Link”>Link Name</a> Merchandising Text

As you will probably notice many of the columns in the email links are empty or not formatted correctly. Link Name is often the same as Merchandising Text and I have never seen image information provided.

The ftp file will give you much more data.. probably more data then you want to use but often more is better then none.

To create the links you could do it manually but you would soon go insane.

A better way is to use PHP to create the links for you or find a import plugin for your website software

This is not for the faint of heart but it is not so difficult that someone with a few weeks or months of PHP knowledge…..  or a very hard full weekend of studding PHP could not accomplish or at least get started doing.