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Task: Build a 10,000 Product Database Fast

This month I have an interesting task of building a 10,000 product database.

The only problem is: I have about 30 days to do it.

Currently there are about 3000 products listed in this database and they are all optimized for search engines.

I have identified another 4000 products that are missing from the database that need to be added.

And, from historical data, can estimate that 2000-3000 products will be added this holiday season for Black Friday and Holiday sales.

Since I only have a small team to work with, we are going to have to cut this project up into pieces and make sure we are using resources efficiently.

Here’s the breakdown:

1) Focus on getting the MVP out

2) Tweak and Adjust in Bulk

3) Import and Submit to Search Engines

4) Maintain

This is just a theory and I will follow up in about a month to see how it pans out.

Step 1: Focus on Getting the MVP Out

With so many products missing from the database, we will need to focus all of our attention to adding them with bare bones listings.

Right now, if someone searches for a product not in our database, they get empty results.

I’d rather the database return a basic listing instead of nothing at all.

So we will focus on string the basic attributes:

Product Name

Brand

Price (MSRP if possible)

Image (Optional)

Step 2: Tweak and Adjust in Bulk

After these bare bone product listings are added, we can then focus on adding additional search attributes. Export out all of the listings added within a certain time range and edit them in bulk.

Add additional details such as product descriptions, gallery images, features, specs, and taxonomies here.

The fastest and most convenient way to do this is through a collaborative spreadsheet. I suggest using Google Sheets and collaboratively working on sections based on priority.

If a brand sells well, prioritize them over a lesser known brand. If we know certain categories sell well (such as Audio Interfaces) then prioritize that over less ROI products.

Step 3: Import and Submit to Search Engines

Since we are on a tight deadline, not everything is going to be complete with 100% accuracy. This margin of error is fine at this stage.

Take this completed sheet and format it correctly for your database manager or website and import it.

This will update your simple listings with the added attributes.

After that’s uploaded, resubmit your website to Google/Bing/Baidu for indexing. This will probably shoot back hundreds, if not thousands of SEO errors, but those can always be fixed later.

Step 4: Maintain

Once the database has been filled, we need to focus on maintaining everything with updated listings and add new products that are released.

The easiest way is to have an XML feed directly from our vendors. This will dynamically update our database with the product data from the vendors database.

The only problem is most vendors don’t have these.

So we will have to rely on manually updating our listings via the price sheets we receive.

One dedicated person can handle this duty if they repeat the steps outlined above.

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