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:

Amazon Refuses To Pay-To-Play In Google’s New Shopping Search

google-rejected-featured [caption id="attachment_132770" align="alignright" width="131"] Stores offering Kindles on Google Shopping[/caption] As Google shifts its Shopping search to a pay-for-play model, one key commerce company appears to be sitting on the sidelines -- Amazon. As noted in a New York Times feature that ran over the weekend, consumers who search on Google Shopping can find Kindles from a variety of stores via the listings, but Amazon isn't one of them. Google Shopping's omission of the most powerful ecommerce brand on the webraises the question of how successful the company's new model will be. [...]

Google Drops Its Veil At Times, Reveals Ecommerce Ambitions

Google has been dropping lots of hints lately about their desire to become not just a leader in advertising, but a leader in  ecommerce as well. A recent Forrester report claims that 30% of all online shoppers start their product research at is just fuel to the fire. Google is trying to combat that growing percentage with more sustainable consumer-focused ecommerce initiatives, centered around local availability, the Google Wallet, Google Shopping, and Google Trusted Stores. The following is an analysis of Google’s recent ecommerce developments. Google Shopping Testing New [...]

Best Practices To Get The Most Out Of Google Shopping

As you should know by now, Google recently announced that it was combining its free Google Product Search listings and Product Listing Ads (PLA) to Google Shopping, where all listings would be shown in an auction based process akin to PPC. This is a significant change for retailers as it means that a significant percent of traffic that has until recently been free until recently, is now paid. Thus it is imperative for the retailer to focus on effectively managing and optimizing Google Shopping campaigns. How Google Shopping Works: A Very Short Summary Google Shopping works differently fro [...]

Google Shopping – The Balance Between Old & New

One of the most talked about changes introduced by Google on May 31, 2012, is the launch of a paid program from Google Shopping based on Product Listing Ads (PLA). Since its announcement, we have seen a huge change in shopping results. Google Shopping listings replace the current Google Product Search listings, which are part of the organic search listings. In this post, I will explain what Google Shopping is all about, how it affects retail merchants and outline steps to mitigate the impact and seize opportunity. The Old Model Since 2002, Google has been listing relevant products whe [...]

Google Bans Weapon-Related Listings From Google Shopping

google-weapons-ban-featured Google has begun notifying merchants that it won't allow them to continue to listing weapons-related items for sale in Google Shopping. Searches in Google Shopping for things like "pistol grip shotgun" (above), "gun scopes," "shotgun shells" and many other terms are leading to a results page that says the term "did not match any shopping results." Outdoor Hub broke the news late last week, and linked to an online petition that includes a copy of the letter that Google has sent to affected merchants. The letter says that Google will "begin to enforce a set of new policies for Goog [...]

Google Shopping: 7 Advanced Tips & Strategies For Merchants

Commercial Site Box The new Google Shopping is based off of your typical paid comparison shopping engine, such as Pricegrabber, Nextag or It’s a move that presents significant opportunity to the merchants who chose to stay and play in the market-rate CPC program, with no minimum CPCs. Many small merchants and some SEOs have shown their disgust with the move and will  likely take their products elsewhere to advertise. Affiliates will also have trouble on Google Shopping, making the potential traffic pie much larger. Even marketplaces will be affected. Merchants who sell on Ebay or Amazon [...]

Google’s Free Trusted Stores Seal Program Opens To All U.S. Merchants

trusted-store-logo Google has been testing its Trusted Stores seal program since October of 2011, and now the program is opening up to all U.S. merchants with a self-service sign-up interface. Merchants who participate will have a "Trusted Stores" badge -- which opens to provide information about the company's shipping and customer service record -- appear beside their AdWords ads. The badge won't be a ranking signal. "It's an ecommerce certification that helps shoppers feel comfortable with buying online even if they don't know the store they're buying from," explains Tom Fallows, group product manager a [...]

Google Acquires KikScore Technology And Assets To Complement Trusted Stores

Kikscore-popup In an effort to expand the kind of information available to online shoppers via its Trusted Stores program, Google has acquired the technology and certain assets of KikScore, a trust seal company serving mostly small businesses. The cost of the intellectual property acquisition wasn't disclosed. According to a post on KikScore's site, the standalone service is being shut down on June 28. The company suggests users turn to Google Trusted Stores as an alternative. "There is still great work to be done for small businesses and that is why we are so excited that an industry leader will be ab [...]

Marketers React To News Of Google Shopping Changing To Paid Inclusion With Hope & Concern

google shopping A few days after Google upended the ecommerce marketing world with the announcement of upcoming changes to what will now be called Google Shopping, many retailers and marketers we spoke with are positive about the switch, though there are definitely some serious concerns. You'd think taking a product from free to paid would cause an outcry (and there is some of that) -- but for many, instead, it's an answer to long time concerns -- concerns about control. More Control = Happier Marketers Cindy Starr, VP of external marketing at VistaPrint, a printing company with more than 65,000 products [...]

Google Product Search To Become Google Shopping, Use Pay-To-Play Model

google-shopping-featured Google Product Search is getting a new name, Google Shopping, and a new business model where only merchants that pay will be listed. It's the first time Google will decommission a search product that previously listed companies for free. The company says the change will improve the searcher experience, but it will also likely raise new worries that Google may further cut free listings elsewhere. "This is about delivering the best answers for people searching for products and helping connect merchants with the right customers," said Sameer Samat, vice president of product management for Goo [...]

The Big Roundup: Finding Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals & Specials

shopping-featured We're already well into Black Friday. In many US stores the frenzy began last night at 10 pm or midnight (as opposed to the normal 4 am door-busting start time). People barely had time to overcome the sleep-inducing effects of L-tryptophan before getting out into the melee. And the word "melee" aptly describes the scene in a Southern California Wal-Mart store as one woman unleashed pepper spray on her fellow shoppers to prevent them from getting in her way. Today and for the next few days people will be using a wide range of tools and resources -- hopefully not pepper spray -- to help them [...]

Despite New Rules, Google Product Search Merchants Not Providing Accurate Tax & Shipping Costs

google-g-logo-96x100 Shoppers using Google Product Search are sometimes being misled by incorrect tax and shipping information in search results. And that's despite Google's recent crackdown on merchants who either omit tax and shipping details, or list false/incorrect data in their product feeds. Back on March 14th, Google announced new rules for Product Search merchants. Among those new rules were requirements that merchants include tax and shipping costs in their product feeds. The original deadline for this was June 6th, but on June 1st Google extended the deadline until September 1st. Now, more than two [...]

Google Gets Into Ratings Game With Trusted Stores

Screen shot 2011-10-03 at 7.43.52 AM Google is launching an e-commerce certification program this morning called "Trusted Stores." The company says that it's trying to give consumers greater confidence to buy products online. In very limited beta right now, qualifying e-commerce stores will be able to display a "Google Trusted Store" badge. What's more interesting is that Google is backing its program with $1,000 in consumer purchase protection (more on that in a minute). To qualify as a Trusted Store etailers must apply and voluntarily provide a range of data to Google. Google believes getting data directly from online retail [...]

Google Overhauls Product Search, Plans To Close

google-product-search Google's new Product Search home page is very un-Googley. Dare I say that it actually looks … stylish? It's dominated by an oversized image area that changes through a series of five different products. There are short text descriptions for each on the left of the images, and then a couple rows of featured products below the fold. It looks like an actual major department store website. (Mind you, there's extremely little text on the page, so if you're an online retailer, this would not be considered "best practices" when it comes to retail SEO. But it's certainly much prettier than [...]

Update Your Google Product Feeds By September 22nd

Google has posted a reminder that the updates to the Google Product search feeds is just around the corner. If you do not update your product feeds with the new guidelines by September 22nd, Google may suspend your account. Google said: As we announced in July, the new Google Product Search Feed Specification and Policies will go into effect on September 22, 2011. After this date, accounts that do not comply with the new requirements may be suspended. For more details on those changes, I recommend you ready our post from July. Related Stories: Google Product Search Changes Feed S [...]

Google Trusted Stores: For Organic Rankings & Search Ads?

Google Operating System Blog discovered a new feature to be released by Google named "Google Trusted Stores." The landing page for this feature will be at but it is currently not live. There was a video that was released today that was just made private. The video was shared on Google Operating System Blog but was then marked as private shortly after. The blog reports that the service "makes it easy for online shoppers to identify stores that provide an excellent online shopping experience." We know Google was likely to incorporate merchant reviews as rankin [...]

Updated: Google Reinvents Its Catalog Search As iPad App

Screen shot 2011-08-16 at 8.35.18 AM Google has partnered with a variety of catalog merchants to launch its next-generation catalog search as an iPad application (with an Android version "coming soon"). The app launches with products from Anthropologie, L.L. Bean, Land's End, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Pottery Barn, Sephora, Tea Collection, Urban Outfitters and Williams-Sonoma, among others. This isn't Google's first crack at this type of thing. It first launched Catalog Search -- which mainly consisted of scanned-in catalogs that were searchable -- in 2001, before shuttering it in 2009. This also isn't the first time something li [...]

Google Product Search Changes Feed Specifications

The Google Merchant Blog announced "important changes to Google Product Search feed specification & policies." These changes go into affect September 22, 2011 and if you are not compliant, you will find your products missing from Google Product Search. To see the changes, you can go to this document and select the country that you target with your content. Then read the documentation the loads beneath it. Here is the overview of changes to U.S. merchants submitting feeds to Google. Availability: Google would like a user to be able to find your products even when they are out of stock. [...]

Google: Product Extension Ads Now Available For Mobile

This morning Google announced two new ad formats for mobile -- or rather the extension of two PC ad types to smartphones -- Product Extension Ads and Product Local Ads. Basically these two mobile formats allow marketers to include product images and related data in ads showing on mobile devices (like PC-based AdWords). Further, if real-time inventory data are available and enabled, users could alternatively be shown information on whether products are in stock nearby. The Product Extension Ads are intended to drive e-commerce from mobile devices. Google research has found that 77 percen [...]

Google Buys Sparkbuy: Comparison Shopping Site Now Closes, Team Remains

sparkbuy logo Google has acquired Sparkbuy, a comparison shopping site that has focused on laptops. The site closed today as part of the purchase; the three person team will continue on with Google. Was this a talent acquisition, then? Google wouldn't comment nor give any details on the purchase price for the year-old company. However, a person familiar with the purchase said it wasn't just for the talent. Still, it feels that way. I wouldn't expect Sparkbuy to reemerge, but it does seem some of the user interface design for shopping (Google apparently liked UI ideas the Sparkbuy team had) will make i [...]

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