On Thursday, May 31 2012, Google announced a significant change to their Google Product Search program. Below is a recap that summarizes the changes and potential impact to advertising efforts.
What is the change to Google Product Search and why is it being made?
On May 31, 2012, Google began to transition Google Product Search in the U.S. to a purely commercial model built on Product Listing Ads (PLA). The new product discovery experience is called Google Shopping.
Why is the change being made?
Google believes that having a commercial relationship with advertisers will encourage them to keep fresh and up to date product information. Higher quality data—whether it’s accurate prices, the latest offers or product availability—should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for advertisers.
How will the new Google Shopping work?
Ranking in Google Shopping, when the full transition is complete this fall, will be based on a combination of relevance and bid price–just like Product Listing Ads today. This will give merchants greater control over where their products appear on Google Shopping. Over time they will also have the opportunity to market special offers such as “30% off all refracting telescopes.”
How does the change impact search results?
Google will be experimenting with ad formats between now and the fall, when the rollout is expected to be complete. A traditional view of Google Product Search and Product Listing Ads:
An example of how Google Shopping Ads may appear:
What are the key dates?
Google will be experimenting with ad formats between now and the fall. There are a few key dates advertisers should be aware of as Google is providing the following incentives to aid in the transition:
- All advertisers who create Product Listing Ads by August 15, 2012 will automatically receive a monthly credit for 10% of their total Product Listing Ad spend through the end of 2012.
- Existing Google Product Search advertisers can receive $100 AdWords credit toward Product Listing Ads if they fill out a form before August 15, 2012.
- To get started, advertisers can visit www.google.com/ads/shopping.
What changes do advertisers need to make?
Advertisers will be required to set up Product Listing Ads within their AdWords accounts.
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