Google Product Search Changes Approach for Retailers


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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Your Facebook Store is Working Full-Time to Improve your Social Authority

Not sure your Facebook store is making the impact you hoped it would? The early sales numbers aren’t as impressive as you thought they would be? Does that mean you should abandon the shop, of course not! In fact that Facebook shop may be dramatically improving your social signals.

The masterminds over at Google and Microsoft (Bing & .Yahoo’s search engine) have been working diligently to fine tune their process of figuring out just who online really matters. Of course, everyone matters but in the digital space it’s important to determine who users care about.  They have determined that they need to integrate social conversations into the mix because they show engagement and potentially who users care about – this is a perfect opportunity for your store to demonstrate value from both direct sales AND social conversation to your overall online efforts.

According to Danny Sullivan, lead writer with Search Engine Land, Google and Bing are using Twitter and Facebook posts to improve a sites “social signal,” which in turn helps to improve the page rank for that company, product or service. Even if you aren’t seeing the type of traffic you want right now to your store those posts, shares, and tweets that are occurring are helping your social signal, in turn letting Google and Bing know that you have “Social Authority.” This will mean improved page rank, which is a key factor for online traffic.  We all know that in the SEO world that authority matters. Authority carries more weight and sends a signal to Google and Bing that says, “Hey this is something you should pay attention to.” You don’t want to be left out of an important conversation at school, at a party or now when it comes to search!

This doesn’t mean you want to flood your Facebook feed and Twitter feed with posts every thirty minutes. Google and Bing are smart so they notice when someone is reposting content for the sake of posting content. Also you don’t want to lose followers just to improve your social signal. Your followers are influential to your signal as well. When someone finds your content intriguing and decides to tweet about it, then someone else re-tweets, and so forth this generates link building back to you. Your store is a simple way to provide ways for your fans and friends to post about your products.

If you start to question whether or not you should keep your Facebook store or not, think about the effect it just might be having on your social signal.

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