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 Shopping Visibility Plunges In “Universal Search” Results; Video Stays Dominant

Google logo Findings from a new study show the visibility of Google Shopping in Google's "Universal Search" results dropped significantly after the search engine implemented a new paid inclusion model. Video content also dropped but still remained by far the most dominant source mixed with web page listings. Searchmetrics, a provider of search and social analysis software, conducted the study by analyzing millions of listings to evaluate Universal Search results for videos, images, maps, shopping and news. Google implemented Universal Search in 2007 to offer an improved search experience for users [...]

Google Adds Publisher Opt-Out Tool For Shopping, Flights, Hotels & Local Search

stop-signs-featured Don't want your content to be included in many of Google's vertical search services, such as Google Shopping or Google+ Local? Google's got a new tool for that, a result of its agreement earlier this year with the US Federal Trade Commission over anti-trust charges. Announced on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, the new tool is located within Google Webmaster Central and allows publishers to keep their content out of: Google Shopping Google+ Local Google Flights Google Hotels Google Advisor (financial product search) Oddly, several of these services only allow you to be inc [...]

Google Shopping Ads: What We’ve Learned So Far

In October 2012, Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) became Google Shopping. With this, Google removed the Google Shopping listings from the organic side of the equation and made them a purely PPC play. Many people, including Danny Sullivan, have noted that Google has now embraced a paid inclusion model. Things have certainly changed, and advertisers need to stay on top of their game to take advantage of new opportunities. In this article, I’ll share some tips we’ve learned related to Google Shopping ads. Before getting started, a few notes on Google Shopping: It’s a feed-based p [...]

Latest Google Shopper App Offers New Refinement Options & More Product Details

Google Commerce has released Google Shopper 3.2, an updated version of its app that includes category-specific refinements for improved search results. When searching for products, users can now filter their results by brand, store, price and other options, as well as view detailed product information, read product reviews, watch video reviews from YouTube, and see high-resolution product images in the new lightbox viewer. Google says these updates make it easier for users to find and compare the most popular products on Google Shopping from their mobile devices. Google Shopper 3.2 c [...]

Bad Merchant? Google May Drop Your Rankings Later This Year

google-algorithm-search-featured Had a bad experience purchasing from an online merchant? Google says it wants to protect searchers from that, and it may crackdown later this year with changes intended to prevent bad merchants from ranking well. The news came during the "How to Rank Better in Google & Bing" session that I moderated yesterday at the SXSW conference in Austin. Google's chief Web spam fighter Matt Cutts responded to concerns one merchant had about bad competitors outranking him. Cutts said: "We have a potential launch later this year, maybe a little bit sooner, looking at the quality of merchants and [...]

Microsoft Says Goodbye To “Scroogled” Ad Campaign

Scroogled petition Microsoft's "Scroogled" ad campaign, which attacked Google over paid inclusion in shopping and Gmail over privacy, is coming to an end. KQED reports that Microsoft will stop TV, newspaper and social media ads promoting the Scroogled message: "That part is about finished," Stefan Weitz, Microsoft senior director of online services, said on Thursday. Microsoft launched the Scroogled campaign last November to attack Google's all-paid-inclusion shopping search results. Our stories below cover more about this: Bing Attacks Google Shopping With “Scroogled” Campaign, Forgets It’s Guilt [...]

Google Switches To Paid Shopping Results In 11 New Countries

Google Shopping Logo Marketers outside the U.S. have continued to enjoy free shopping traffic from Google, despite the search giant's big change to convert all results to paid listing ads in its home country. But that's beginning to change for folks in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. As Google announced late last year, the company began on February 13 to replace free listings on Google Shopping to Product Listing Ads in those 11 countries. To encourage advertisers to adopt the new product, Google is offering a cred [...]

6 Advanced Strategies For Optimizing PLA Campaigns

In January, Marin Software released a study on Google’s 2012 transition from Google Product Search to the commercial, “pay-to-play” model built on Product Listing Ads. When this enhanced shopping experience was first announced in May of 2012, online retailers reacted with both praise and criticism. However, since the transition, PLA campaigns have performed with a great deal of success. In fact, by the end of December 2012, the share of spend on PLA campaigns had increased 600% compared to January. More importantly, during the fourth quarter of 2012, as holiday shoppers searched and p [...]

Google Buys Channel Intelligence For $125 Million

google-shopping-featured Google has acquired retail feed management provider Channel Intelligence (not to be confused with Channel Advisor) for $125 million. The company counts major brands and retailers among its clients. Channel Intelligence (CI) offers a range of services built around data management and product feed optimization. It lists Target, Philips, HP, Neiman Marcus and Best Buy among its customers and says it works with 850 retailers on a global basis. The conventional line on this acquisition is that it will better help Google Shopping compete with Amazon and eBay. CI was a launch partner of Goog [...]

Bing Shopping As A Poster Child For Consumer Confusion About Ads

bing-shopping-featured Bing has been escalating its attacks against Google Shopping over consumer transparency since launching its "Scroogled" campaign just over a week ago. Well, consumer confusion is a serious issue. Indeed, Bing itself can be used to illustrate some of the problems consumers face at both Bing and Google. The day after Bing's campaign launched, I found the full-page ad to the right in my copy of the Wall Street Journal. A similar ad apparently ran in the New York Times. Meanwhile, at least one blogger has gotten a "Scroogled" t-shirt, and the official Bing blog has done two further anti-Goo [...]

How To Take Control Over PLAs & Product Search

While there is no shortage of literature on managing product-level keywords and product listing ads (PLAs), it seems that lots of advertisers still struggle with creating the initial structure and its subsequent maintenance over time. If you are an online retailer and your business is significantly dependent on product level keywords and ads, you might be interested in hearing about a couple of ways those processes can be improved – your priority being to offer the most relevant results for product-related queries. Controlling Product Level Keywords/Ads In Traditional Paid Search There [...]

Bing Attacks Google Shopping With “Scroogled” Campaign, Forgets It’s Guilty Of Same Problems

bing-scroogled-featured Bing is attacking Google over its shift to a pay-for-play shopping search engine through a new "Scroogled" site, pledging that Bing has "honest search." Great campaign, if it were true. It's not. Bing itself does the same things it accuses Google of. It's also another indictment of how little the FTC is doing to protect consumers from "search results" they might not realize are ads. Google Shopping Goes All-Ads Earlier this year, Google changed to a "paid inclusion" or pay-to-play model of accepting listings for its Google Shopping site. Phased in over the summer, as of October 17, only merc [...]

“Shortlists,” 360 Degree Product Views, And Promotions Added To Google Shopping

3DPirateShip As consumers prepare to get serious about their holiday shopping, Google is introducing new features to its pay-for-play Shopping search engine, including 360 degree product images, deals and discounts, and a collaborative shopping list. 360 Degree Views Start With Toys The company has started its effort to get 360 degree images of products with the toy category -- a natural for the holiday season. Google VP of Product Management Sameer Samat told me the company's priority is on products that consumers like to examine closely and feel in the retail environment -- such as apparel, shoes a [...]

The Mess That Is Google Shopping

google-shopping-featured One of the things Google promised by moving Google Shopping to the pay-to-play model for merchants was how much the experience was going to improve for shoppers. If that's the case, I'm sure not seeing it. Come on a little tour. Amazon Don't Play That Game The new system began on October 17. Perhaps the most striking change by Google deciding that it would only list merchants if they pay to be included is the absence of a little known online retailer called Amazon. Nope, Amazon doesn't want to play Google's game, where it only gets included if it pays. This type of absence is exactly [...]

Google Widens Test Of Affiliate Advertising In New Pay-For-Play Shopping

Affiliate Advertising on Google Shopping After last month's major change to Google Shopping, making the service solely pay-for-play, the company is exploring ways for affiliates to participate via Product Listing Ads (PLAs) in the US. Google Shopping has been testing ways of working with affiliates for nearly six months in alpha and is now opening up the beta to additional participants, according to Eric Tholomé, product management director of Google Shopping. The idea is to allow affiliates to bid on PLAs for products sold by their merchant partners, adding additional data to Google Shopping and allowing Google to tap into a [...]

Google Gives Update On Shopping Going Full Paid Inclusion, Hints At AdWords’ Future On Q3 Call

NikeshArora311 Now that Google's new pay-for-play Shopping is in full swing (the changeover took place October 17), the company used its earnings call to share thoughts on its success thus far, and its future vision for the product. Additionally, Google execs came out with some tidbits about the status and future of other elements of its advertising business. [caption id="attachment_137132" align="alignright" width="259"] Nikesh Arora[/caption] According to SVP and Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora, the company is listing more than a billion products from tens of thousands of merchants and over 100,0 [...]

Google Gears Up To Recruit Merchants For Pay-For-Play Shopping In Advance Of Holiday Season

google-shopping-featured As the crucial holiday etailing season approaches, Google is pulling out all the stops to get merchants on board to the new pay-for-play Google Shopping. Today, the company announced that it will switch to all paid listings as of October 17. Previously, Google product results were fueled by product feeds provided by merchants, at no charge. Back in May, the company announced Shopping results would come from paid Product Listing Ads (PLAs) only, citing a need for more reliable and up-to-date data. With this milestone approaching, the company is pushing educational opportunities to get mer [...]

Circle Of (Search) Life: Google Brings Catalogs Back To The Web

google-catalogs-2012 Google Catalogs, a service that Google resuscitated last year on tablets, is coming to the web as part of Google Shopping. Actually, "coming back to the web" might be more accurate. Google offered catalog search on the web as early as 2001, and then abandoned it in 2009 due to low usage. The new version of Google Catalogs is admittedly different, though -- it's browsable, not searchable. Beginning at, shoppers can browse by brand name, category or use Google's list of Featured catalogs. As best I can tell, there are several hundred catalogs in the system. R [...]

Etsy To Bankroll Product Listing Ads For Its U.S. Sellers

EtsyPLAlanding Google's decision to eliminate free product listings in favor of paid Product Listing Ads (PLAs) for Google Shopping has reverberated through the ecommerce world. One consequence: online marketplace Etsy has decided to pay for its U.S. sellers' products to be listed in PLAs through the rest of the year. The ecommerce company, known for facilitating the sale and purchase of handmade and vintage items, fears the impact Google's change would have on traffic over the holiday season, and doesn't believe sellers would place such ads themselves. In its blog post, Etsy said it would be spending mor [...]

Product Level Ads: Tribulations Of A New Traffic Source

Free clicks from Google Shopping were a gift. We all knew it, loved it, and were holding our collective breath because we knew one day it would go away. As you are probably well aware, that day is sometime in October of this year and the transition has already begun to take place. Beyond the obvious financial impact on businesses caused by having to pay for something that was once free, are Product Level Ads (PLAs) really a bad thing? Is Google getting greedy? Or are they just taking another step in their eternal quest to improve user experience? To get the low down, I called on an old f [...]

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