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:

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 [...]


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 [...]


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