product listing ads

Google Rolls Out New Product: Google Shopping

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Despite the fact that Google Shopping is already transitioning to a paid service tomorrow, many retailers using Google‘s online marketplace to sell their wares may be caught with their pants down once the drastic change takes effect. The rest have only known about the update over the previous holiday season, and are still trying to figure out just what the transition means for their business.

If your organisation depends on Google Product Search (Google Shopping’s old name) for traffic, now’s the time to adjust to Google Shopping to avoid losing momentum.

What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping, formerly known as Google Product Search, previously allowed online retailers to simply submit large volumes of product data through Google Merchant Centre, which Google then ranked according to relevance, just as it would other organic results on the Web.

The transition of Google Shopping to the new commercial model means that search results are now based on both bid price and relevance, very similar to Google AdWords ads.

We at Enform believe it’s important for retailers to take note of this major change, since Google Product Search traffic will eventually disappear in favour of paid Google Shopping Traffic. For retailers, this also means that action will be needed for them to participate.

Starting tomorrow, online retailers will notice a shift in their traffic, and in light of these changes, the folks from ChannelAdvisor have taken it upon themselves to break down some elements of Google Shopping, providing measures on how to start using them.

Product Listing Ads

At its core, Google Shopping is driven by Product Listing Ads, which are essentially visual product ads with product data like image, title, price and brand. PLAs are displayed alongside search network text ads, and show up when Google detects a search query matching with the product data. Like Google AdWords ads, Google’s pricing for its PLAs are based on a CPC bidding model.

Which products Google will display on its PLAs will depend on how well optimised your product data’s quality score and click-through rate.


Product data feeds refer to lists of single products that come with product details like price, name, URL for the product page, product image URL, category, description etc. Success with PLAs begins with properly optimised and accurate data feeds.

Be sure to look at your product information and see that all relevant fields are filled up, accurate and optimised.

More tips can be found on the ChannelAdvisor blog.