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:

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." [...]


The Searcher’s Guide To Black Friday, Cyber Monday & Holiday Shopping

shopping-sale-240px This year, U.S. shoppers now have more opportunities than ever to join the throngs scrambling to secure holiday bargains, thanks to many brick and mortar stores opening ever earlier and staying open ever longer. Black Friday, the traditional post-Thanksgiving sales lollapalooza, has become a 24-hour slog for many retailers. And some retailers, impatient to lure shoppers, have now succumbed to selling on "gray Thursday," opening their stores on Thanksgiving day itself. With good reason: sales rung up over the Thanksgiving day holiday account for as much as 5% of annual revenues for many retail [...]


A Mature Digital Marketing Industry Provides SEO Opportunity For Small & Ambitious Businesses

Localisation Opportunities for Small Business & Large Alike

As we are approaching the end of the year, I thought it would be worth reviewing 2013 from the perspective of a UK based SEO with a diverse range of multinational clients and what opportunities lie ahead for all things SEO.


A PLA Investigation:The Case Of The Hot Pink Wedge Pump

womens_pumps The takeover of the formerly-free Google Shopping by Product Listing Ads (PLAs) is less than a year old. With any new online marketing channel, you would expect some kinks in the system -- i.e., some idiosyncratic behavior that is unexpected -- and PLAs are no exception. This article delves into a very specific problem within an actual campaign of a marketer that was using Adchemy software to manage their PLA campaigns. (Specific product brands, store name and campaign results have been disguised.) This problem may seem very esoteric at first, but if you look closely, chances are the same [...]


4 Paid Search Strategies To Advertise Your Entire Product Catalog

Clothes Shop Production
Image via Shutterstock Over the last half decade, consumers have increasingly turned to search as an integral step in their purchase cycle. The convenience of online shopping, ability to quickly compare prices, and the wide selection of products and brands have fostered a highly competitive, yet profitable landscape. As retailers continue to invest more in paid search, consumers continue to expect a richer and more engaging shopping experience. In order to capitalize on this growing revenue opportunity, retail advertisers must be equipped to advertise their entire product inventory. [caption id="attachment_172 [...]


Doing Google PLAs? 4 Must-Know Facts

Despite their growing importance as a marketing channel for retailers, Google's Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are fairly opaque compared to traditional paid search ads. Key metrics such as average position and impression share are not available via Google's interface, and thus there is little information out there on the ways in which bids, impressions, ad position, and click-through rate (CTR) interact with one another. Using third-party software, I was able to track impression results for PLAs across more than 180 product categories for 6 weeks. I collected data on when and where each ad was [...]


6 Ways To Leverage Merchant Feeds To Optimize Product Listing Ads

nike air max navigate Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are the new hipster ads of search marketing, but many retailers aren't fully capitalizing on this huge opportunity. (I guess many don't know how cool they are yet.) But, what goes into optimizing your merchant feed for your PLA campaigns, and what best practices can you start implementing today? Merchant feeds are the new keywords in retail. By including common terms found in consumer intent within strategic fields of your merchant feed, your campaigns will garner additional visibility within search results and Google Shopping. If you don't have a ton of query [...]


New B2B Content Consumption Habits In An Ever-Changing Advertising Funnel

1st Riff In my last article, I discussed how some marketing tactics and concepts of yesteryear can still be applied in advertising to B2B customers today. Inevitably, however, some marketing media and channels have changed. The world of advertising has shifted from a one-step advertising funnel to a multi-step funnel, caused simply by the inception of the Internet and the ability it's given people to easily access content. Knowing that, we'll investigate how B2B content consumption habits have changed and discuss how to leverage these new habits for a successful PPC advertising campaign. Content [...]


PLAs: Cannibals? Allies? Or Both?

The spectacular growth of Product Listing Ads (PLAs) over the past 2-1/2 years has been a boon for Google and advertisers as well as for consumers. This growth was spurred by the visual appeal of the ads themselves, by Google’s increasing sophistication in serving the right PLAs for the right queries and by Google’s decision to eliminate the visual competition on the SERP produced by the once-free Google shopping listings. The question has been raised, though: is some of this growth also artificially produced by cannibalization? For Enterprise AdWords advertisers, might some of th [...]


SEM-Like Control For Successful PLA Campaigns

There are notable similarities between keyword and PLA campaigns that, when leveraged properly, will give retailers greater control of their campaign management. Let’s evaluate how retailers can leverage best practices from their keyword campaigns and apply them to their PLA campaigns for maximum efficiency and control over their budgets. In SEM, search engines decide which ads are shown for which queries based on keywords; but, advertisers don’t have to yield control of their spend to the search engine. Instead, they can institute a proper campaign setup that allows for control at a gr [...]


Study: PLAs Buck Post-Holiday Trends For Google Shopping, Traffic Nearly Doubles in Q1

Google shopping traffic doubles CPC Strategy The momentum of Google's PLA program didn't slow after the holidays. After seeing Google Product Listing Ad traffic jump 82% in Q1 over Q4, CPC Strategy followed up its latest quarterly review of top CSEs with a closer look. The agency hadn't been surprised to see the 87% increase in PLA traffic in Q4 over Q3 as Google's pay-to-play program ramped during the holiday season. However, the huge traffic spike from Product Listing Ads that occurred after the holiday shopping rush did catch them by surprise. Bucking the typical trend of CSEs (and e-commerce in general), paid Google Shopping traf [...]


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