Google loves to change things, from the look of the search results to what can and can’t be advertised in Google Ads. One of their latest changes, however, could make quite a big difference to many companies. Google is making Shopping free.
What is Google Shopping?
We should probably clarify. You can’t go into your local Tesco and walk out with all the loo roll a small country gets through in a year without paying. When we say Shopping (with a capital S), we’re talking about Google Shopping.
This is a platform that Google offers that lets people directly advertise and sell products. Let’s take a look at the Google search results for “trainers”:
As you can see, there are three Google Text Ads results at the top, denoted with the little black Ad icon. Below these, you have normal organic results. On the right, you can see a bunch of trainers for sale, with images, reviews and links. These are Google Shopping results.
You can also see Shopping products by clicking “Shopping” under the search bar:
This gives you a lot if different product results to browse through, usually with fairly extensive filtering options.
How do you get your products on Google Shopping?
At the moment, they’re ads, so you need a Google Ads account. However, you also need Google Merchant Centre, which is a platform you use to manage your Shopping Feed – a list of products you want to advertise.
You can manually create a Shopping Feed by adding the products you want (which can be quite complicated) or you can automatically create feeds from your website. This varies from website to website, but it’s something your web agency or digital marketing agency can set up for you.
Once your feed is created and Merchant Centre is connected to Google Ads, you can create a Shopping campaign and get some ads going.
Apparently there’s a pandemic on – who knew? This has impacted many businesses and, as a result, Google have decided to accelerate their plans to allow free Google Shopping listings, specifically on the Google Shopping tab:
In light of these challenges, we’re advancing our plans to make it free for merchants to sell on Google. Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings.
This means that you’ll no longer have to pay to get products to show on the main Google Shopping results page.
What isn’t changing?
Shopping ads will still be a thing. Results will be primarily free listings, but it’s likely we can expect a similar experience to the main search results page – the majority of results are organic (free) but ads have greater exposure and prominence.
You’ll also still need to use the Google Merchant Centre to create and manage your Shopping Feed.
When is this change happening?
This update is being rolled out in the US this month (April). Google aim to roll this out to the rest of the world by the end of the year.
Now’s the ideal time to get your ecommerce platform together, organised and ready to launch on Google Shopping. These free results could be extremely beneficial for smaller companies with limited marketing budgets, while larger companies will need to ensure their Shopping Ads are well optimised to ensure ROI is fully met.
Whether you need help creating an effective ecommerce website to sell your products or are unsure how to get setup with Google Shopping, get in touch.
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