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Everything you need to know about Google Shopping!

As many of you reading this already know, Google Shopping is Google’s very own and very large comparison site where e-retailers promote and advertise their products and where consumers go to search and compare and eventually purchase products online.

From February 2013, Google Shopping will be moving to a fully commercial model. It was fun while it lasted and yes, maybe some of us took it for granted that we could have all our products listed nice and easily in Google Shopping for free. Alas all good things must come to an end and now Google has rolled out a new paid version for their shopping service, meaning, obviously that you’ll need to start paying for your products to appear.

When Google announced last year that it was going to start charging for e-retailers to promote on Google Shopping through its Product Listing Ads (PLA’s), not everyone took notice, but now its here, alarm bells are ringing amongst many who are finding themselves left behind.

So, what has changed? And more importantly, what do I need to know?

Essentially, changes will be made to the search engine results page, (SERPs) in Google Shopping so that only PLA’s are displayed. We know the new PLA’s are going to be similar to AdWords in that it is cost per click based and it will actually become part of the AdWords programme, managed through the AdWords control panel. Effectively meaning that retailers now need to ‘pay to display’ in Google shopping.

Ok, so does that mean I don’t have to use Google Merchant Centre any more?

No, unfortunately it doesn’t mean that. You will have to use both. You’ll use your Merchant Centre Account to upload your product feeds and you'll need to use your AdWords to manage your PLA’s and other Ad’s.

Basically, the updated Google Shopping will charge on PPC or CPC basis. Retailers apply a maximum bid to individual products or to product target groups, through their AdWords account.

What does the end result mean for me and my business?

Well this is once again where Google gets crafty. Google will determine rankings based on what bids advertisers choose. Instead of establishing a minimum PPC or CPC rate, Google will decide where to rank your site depending on what bids you chose to enter.

Here is a popular example: If seller A bids 10p, and seller B bids 15p, seller B’s products will rank higher than seller A. Positions for specific key phrases will then be decided by primarily by your bid and secondly by how appropriate Google deems your product to be for a specific query.

What are the Pros and Cons of the new Google Shopping?

First the positives:

  1. Rankings, If your site doesn’t currently rank too well organically, a little extra investment can go a long way in driving your site up those rankings.
  2. More control, you’ll have more control over what Google shopping displays because you’ll be creating your own ads.
  3. Quality Results, theoretically you’re only going to spend big on a keyword if you know your going to get results from it, which should lead to more relevant, quality results.
  4. Less competition, companies like Amazon and Apple most probably won’t bother with paying for Google Shopping as frankly they have no need to. This opens the door for smaller e-retails to invest a little cash and jump the rankings. So long as you have an up to date quality e-commerce site, you’re golden.

Now the Cons:

  1. Cost, this is the big one. Obviously no one wants to pay for something which they used to get for free, and depending on how competitive your industry is, the updated Google Shopping isn’t going to be cheap.
  2. Time, the new Google Shopping certainly isn’t going to be as quick and easy to manage as it used to be, especially if you have to merge and manage your Google Merchant Centre and AdWords account to create your own ads.

Spiderscope Website Optimisation

This article, as well as enlightening you to Google Shopping will (hopefully) also highlight he importance of having a top-notch e-commerce site. When someone finds their way to your site then it needs to look good and function well! Whilst Google Shopping changes might not affect you directly, it does open the door for those smaller businesses to compete with the “big boys” as it were.

Here at Spiderscope we have an expert internet marketing and website development team who can work with you to create an e-commerce site worthy of the name to help you maximise your conversions. So don’t hesitate Contact Us now on 0800 081 1688


Posted by: Spiderscope on February 15th, 2013 @ 12:36 AM

Tagged with: Google Optimisation Online Sales Optimisation Product Feed Optimisation

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