Google Shopping is a dedicated shopping search engine from Google. It allows people to find products for sale from merchants online, offering features such as product information, prices, stock availability and merchant ratings.

Unlike “regular” Google, only those who pay are included within Google Shopping. Google Shopping changed to this all-advertising format in 2012, backtracking from a strong stance it had previously taken against the practice. That did, however, bring Google in line with how most other shopping search engines operate.

Google Shopping results do appear within regular Google searches, whenever Google believes there’s a shopping match. These results are normally shown in a special shopping box integrated into regular results, which also shows a “Sponsored” disclaimer.

You can read more about how Google Shopping works in our articles below:

Reassess How You Prioritize Your E-Commerce PPC Campaign Builds

ppc-paid-search-mobile-600 Over the last couple of years, the prioritization of e-commerce PPC campaign builds has shifted dramatically.With the rise of Google Shopping and with dynamic solutions now available to advertisers, standard Search Network text-ad campaign builds fall down the priority list. In today's world of e-commerce PPC, I prioritize my campaigns as follows: Google Shopping (Product Listing Ads or PLAs) Remarketing (All Types) Search Network Text Ads & Ad Extensions Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) Google Display Network Google Shopping According to RKG's Q1 2014 Digital Marketing Report, PL [...]


3 Opportunities With Those New Google Shopping Campaigns

(Click to enlarge.) For those who are not necessarily familiar with Google Shopping campaigns -- let's clarify things straight away. Product listing ads (PLAs) are remaining the same as an ad format for end users, whether search marketers are using "old PLAs" or new Shopping campaigns. The novelty lies only on the campaign management side of things, including a layering system based of the Google Merchant Center feed directly in AdWords. But in my mind, some of the new Google Shopping features should have a significant impact for both advertisers and end users – here are a couple of initial thoughts. 1. [...]


eBay’s “Paid Search Is Ineffective” Study Gains Buzz And Skeptics, Again

Ebay jan 2012 bad ads pink roses in a vase By claiming that paid search is largely ineffective, eBay has attracted a lot of attention and buzz with media outlets repeating the findings. Anyone who isn't familiar with eBay's history of throw-it-at-the-wall-and-watch-what-happens paid search advertising strategy may be able to take the company's final release of a report that first made the rounds last year at face value. Those familiar with eBay's paid search efforts (i.e., "Bid on Cancer now") have taken the study with a grain of salt, if not discounted it outright. The problem isn't with the research or testing, it's the fact th [...]


Google Issues Best Practices For Shopping Campaigns Ahead Of This Summer’s Big Transition

google-shopping-600 With Shopping Campaigns becoming the default campaign type for running Product Listing Ads on Google by the end of August, the search giant has issued a best practices whitepaper to help marketers make the transition. The main points the paper dives into are product feed optimization and updates, Shopping campaign structure, bidding and mobile recommendations. Much of the best practices haven't necessarily changed from the original PLA recommendations -- use relevant titles and high-quality images -- but there are good baseline reminders such as limiting title length to 50 characters to [...]


New Google Product Feed Specs Going Live Sept. 30, Including A Mobile Landing Page Attribute

Google Shopping Logo If you're running Google Product Listing Ads, it's time to revisit your feed. Google has updated the feed requirements for Google Shopping with several new attributes as well as some changes to existing content requirements. A new 'mobile link' attribute has been added to ensure users are taken to mobile landing pages from their smartphones. Advertisers can now enter a separate mobile landing page URL via this attribute. Additional updates included: Merchant-defined custom bundles, such as a camera with additional case and lens, must now be identified as such in order to be displayed [...]


How To Manage Bids For AdWords Shopping Ads

google-shopping-600 Last month, I covered the basics of how Shopping campaigns in AdWords differ from Search campaigns. The key finding I had was that, with Search, you have to add keywords to target more queries. In Shopping, all queries that match your products are targeted by default, and one of the main reasons to divide products into Product Groups is to get more control over bids. This month, I'd like to share what I've learned about managing bids for AdWords Shopping ads. Bidding In Shopping Campaigns All bidding in Shopping Campaigns is done at the lowest Product Group level -- so while ad grou [...]


Google Introduces New Content API For Google Shopping

google-shopping-600 Today, Google introduced a new version of the API that allows retailers to manage product feed content programmatically, as opposed to through manual updates to Google Merchant Center. It's the first version update of the API since Google first launched it in 2010, before Google Shopping became a paid platform. Version 2 of the Content API for Google Shopping offers these added features: Item-level data quality information: See if an item was disapproved because a landing page URL isn’t working on a mobile device or if unique product identifiers are inaccurate. Faster pricing and av [...]


Shopper FOMO – What Is It & Are You Dealing With It Appropriately?

FOMOKIDSWIthFOMO FOMO, or "fear of missing out," is something that is playing an increasingly significant role in today's digitally connected world. Wikipedia defines it as follows: Fear of missing out or FOMO is a form of social anxiety -- a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, profitable investment or other satisfying event. This is especially associated with modern technologies such as mobile phones and social networking services. The web has provided us with more options and possibilities than ever before -- but the downside to having a seeming [...]


Starting A Shopping Campaign In AdWords? Forget All You Know About Keywords!

Shopping Ads Displace Search Ads Now that Shopping Ads and Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are getting more prominent positions on the SERPs (and taking away traffic from search ads); I've started to focus on them more with my clients. I found that working with Google Shopping campaigns is a good deal different from working with traditional keywords and text ads; so over the coming weeks, I'd like to share some of my experiences with this new type of AdWords campaign. The key initial learning for me is that product groups are so different from keywords that you really need to understand how they function before setting up yo [...]


Google Now Remembers Where You Parked, Gains Offline Cards, Indoor Maps, Shopping Reminders

google-now-card-featured Excited that the updated Google Search App for Android will remember where you parked your car? Wait, there's more! Google Now cards also work offline, malls are gaining indoor map directories and you can now get product search reminders. Earlier today Barry Schwartz wrote that the updated Google Search App for Android will now help you locate your car in a parking lot or on the street. Since then, we've learned that this "parking locator card" is just one of several new features and capabilities in the updated Android version of Google Now. No word on iOS yet. Among the new Now feature [...]


Google Adds Shopping Campaigns Features, Says Regular PLA Campaigns To Sunset In August 2014

google-shopping-products-featured Google introduced Shopping campaigns to all advertisers running Product Listing Ads (PLAs) in February as a way to simplify PLA set up and management. Today, Google announced some new features that have been rolling out in response to advertiser feedback, and they laid out the succession plan for Shopping campaigns to take over legacy PLA campaigns. Probably the most requested change is the addition of multiple ad groups. When Shopping campaigns debuted, campaigns consisted of just one ad group, which many advertisers found limiting. Retailers can now set up multiple ad groups within a Shoppi [...]


Google Testing New Sponsored Shopping Boxes, With 3D View

google-shopping-panel-nest-cropped Google continues to experiment with Google Shopping displays beyond the traditional thumbnail box panel of Product Listing Ads. This latest version is larger than the sponsored result spotted earlier this month for the book "Don't Make Me Think". Found by Twitter user Britney Muller of Pryde Marketing, the sponsored result for "Nest thermostats" -- now owned by Google -- incorporates Google Shopping's 3D product view. The result presents information from Google Shopping including a list of merchants with prices, product details and reviews all in one box in the search result. Clickin [...]


Google Stepping Up Merchant Feed Enforcement

google-police-600 Got some slop in your Google product feed? Now's the time to revisit all those pesky identifiers and tidy things up. Google is upping its enforcement of product feeds in Google Merchant Center again. Google began this process last year by disapproving products without unique product identifiers such as GTIN (which also must be conform to standard specifications), MPN and brand and demoting products with incorrect usage of the identifier_exists attribute. The identifier_exists attribute was added last year for merchants selling custom goods that don't have unique identifiers like brand na [...]


Google Shopping Campaigns Are Now Live — How To Get Started

google-shopping-products-featured Yesterday morning, Google announced the Google Shopping campaign program is now available to all online merchants. Google Shopping campaigns, which have been in beta since October, are a new version of PLAs which change how ads are created. They make creating PLAs more transparent within AdWords and give advertisers more control, allowing them to view more product information with less involvement with the data feed and an intuitive product group break-out structure.  Google Shopping Campaigns 101 Here are three of the major elements of Google Shopping campaigns: Layering Structur [...]


Marin: 40 Percent Of Google PLA Clicks To Come From Smartphones By Dec 2014

google-shopping-products-featured By now it's clear that retailers made record investments in Google product listing ads (PLAs) in Q4 2013, as reports from Covario, RKG and IgnitionOne have each shown. Today, Marin Software released its own findings which reinforce the general consensus that PLA performance this past holiday season will set the trend for 2014. Marin also sees smartphones playing a greater role in PLA performance in 2014. "As mobile shoppers utilize Google Shopping more in-store and on-the-go, we expect these holiday CTR trends to continue in 2014," Marin projects in the new The State of Google Shopping repo [...]


Google Shopping Expanding 360 Degree Product Images, Making New Hire

google-shopping-featured Last year, Google began adding 360 degree product views to Google Shopping ahead of the holiday season. This year, the search giant continued to tout the 360 views and have expanded from toys to other consumer products that consumers typically like to examine closely such as cameras. Users can move the images around to see all sides, top and bottom of a product and theoretically "feel as if they’re picking up products off the shelf". The company appears to have hired or be close to hiring a new partner technology manager for the program. A LinkedIn posting now states the job is no longer [...]


Report: Google PLAs Deliver 4X Revenue Lift For Retailers In Early Holiday Season

google-shopping-products-featured It's probably not too surprising to hear that retailers have doubled their year-over-year spend on Google product listing ads this holiday season thus far. After all, the paid format of Google Shopping had just rolled out in the fall of 2012. What is stunning, however, is the four-fold increase in revenue that retailers have realized from PLAs versus 2012, according to a holiday retail report from Kenshoo out this week.   ROAS reached $8.62 in the 26 days ending with Cyber Monday that were analyzed for the study. Yes, PLAs delivered a nearly 9 to one return on investment in the [...]


The Test Continues: Which Shopping Search Engine Finds The Best Price For A Blu-Ray?

shopping-search-online-featured It's time for our second test of how well Google Shopping and other shopping search engines find the best prices on products. For this installment, what's the lowest price from a major retailer for a copy of "Red 2" in the Blu-ray, DVD and digital download combo pack? Is The Featured Price The Lowest Price? In this test, as with our last one, we're trying to see if the "featured price" is better than the low price that can be found on each service, plus who finds the lowest price overall. Here's the summary chart of our findings, where PriceGrabber did best, with Google just barely behind by [...]


The Test Begins: Do Google Shopping & Other Shopping Search Engines Give You The Best Deals?

google-shopping-products-featured It sounds pretty damning. Two recent surveys suggest that Google Shopping isn't leading searchers to the best prices on products. But the surveys weren't well documented, nor did they include competitors like Bing, Shopzilla, PriceGrabber and Nextag, which have similar issues. So, Search Engine Land will be running its own fully documented tests. Every few days, we'll search for an item and show what we found, starting with today's test, a search for a toaster. Testing For The Low Price Vs. Featured Price This is a long story. It's designed to be that way so that people can understand ex [...]


How Online Retailers Can Leverage Unique Identifiers & Structured Data

sale Ever since the Hummingbird update, there has been a ton of Internet buzz about entity search. What is entity search? How does it work? And what exactly is an "entity"? However, the topic of entity search as it relates to e-commerce and Google Shopping has been neglected. Everything you have learned to date about entity search, semantic search and the semantic Web also applies to e-commerce. The big difference in the shopping vertical compared to other search verticals is that all entities searched for are of the same type. Every product in Google is, in fact, an entity of type "product." [...]


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