Google Product Search Changes Approach for Retailers

June 19, 2012 by Kevin Gralen

 

We want to provide an important notice to our Facebook shop retailers that have an online shopping website.  A few weeks ago, Google announced that they will be moving to a paid inclusion model of the current Google Product Search which will now become Google Shopping. So in English what does this mean for you? Simply stated you will now have to pay, for what has been free in the past, to have your products appear in the dedicated shopping search engine and Google Shopping boxes. Many merchants submit their product feed through Google Merchant Center in order for their products to be eligible for inclusion in Google Product Search. This can result in higher search rankings and sales.

According to a blog post released by Google, Sameer Samat states that this change will result in a better shopping experience for the shopper by providing these buyers the highest quality data that in turn will create quality traffic for the merchants. Well that just sounds dandy, especially for Google now that they are charging for the service, but is it worth a retailer paying for it is the big question.

“If your keyword search traffic on a particular product or type of products convert at a good ROI, then you can expect similar patterns in Google Shopping,” as stated by Kurt Krake president of Search-Werks. In order to understand the traffic that you currently get from the Google Product Search you will need to take a look at your analytics. Do you see any traffic coming from this area of Google, are they paying customers or just browsing? When you can answer those questions then you will know if it’s worth taking money out of your marketing budget to showcase your products in Google Shopping.

The transition won’t be complete until this fall so you have some time to figure out how you want to approach this situation. Google is also offering incentives:

-          Merchants that create product listings by August 15th, 2012 will receive a monthly 10% credit for their total Product Listing Ads through 2012

-          Existing Google Product Search Merchants will get $100 AdWords credit if they fill out a form before August 15th, 2012.

The good news is that this won’t impact your product listings in your Facebook store or overall selling in Facebook. Continued promotion of your products, increased engagement tactics and use of social sharing will help to improve your overall search engine rankings through increases in your social authority, potentially off-setting some of this impact.

Successful online retailers need to manage all elements of their traffic to drive sales and obtain a quality ROI on marketing activities for their website and Facebook shop. At ShopTab, we value your overall online success and don’t want to see our clients hit by an unexpected drop in quality referrals from Google. Many of us will see just how reliant we are on Google Shopping for traffic later this fall when they make the change.  Have you taken a look at your analytics to see if this will impact you?

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