Google has launched Shopping, aka Product Search, in four new countries today — The Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Australia. The company has also launched Merchant Center in Australia.
Users of Google search in these countries will now see Shopping results on their main search results page, and can refine by clicking a Shopping tab on the left navigation.
In the U.S., Google has been working on what’s now called Shopping since back in 2002, when it was called Froogle. It’s been available in various forms since then.
The new availability of Google Shopping listings also make it possible for AdWords advertisers in those markets to add product extensions to their ads. Product extensions allow advertisers to link ads to product information feeds. Users see them as a plus-box attached to ads.
Product marketers using Merchant Center who want to target those countries with a Shopping feed can use a single account for feeds for different countries. You’d just need to create a new feed that is specific to that company’s policies — in the local language, currency, and shippable in the country — and then, when registering your feed, select that country in the drop-down.
In announcing the expansion of Shopping, Google cited comScore numbers that indicated that three quarters of Europeans visited an e-commerce site in January, spending an average of 52 minutes on e-tail sites during the month.