On Your Marks, Get Set, Google Shopping

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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As the 2012 Olympics Approaches Stay Ahead of the Race with Google Shopping

If you have any interest in Online Marketing, and haven’t been living in a cave for the last few months, you will by now be aware that Google’s Product Search is in the process of receiving a complete overhaul and become Google shopping. Google will no longer allow retailers to list their products free of charge in their Product Search section. The price comparison format will remain, however, retailers will now have to bid a minimum of £0.01. to allow their relevant products to be visible. The retailer that submits the highest bid for their relevant product will receive better visibility within the new model of Google Shopping.

Google Shopping

“This is about delivering the best answers for people searching for products and helping connect merchants with the right customers,” said Sameer Samat, vice president of product management for Google Shopping, at the end of May, regarding the changes that will be in full operation by the end of October. Immediate concerns are being raised as to how Google’s new model will work in practice. The most effective way to give people searching for the “best answers” is to give them the most “relevant answers”. This relevancy is now in direct correlation to the proportion of a vendor’s budget set aside for their products in Google Shopping. It would also be fair to assume that If two retailers sell an identical product then the retailer who submitted a higher bid will have a more visible product, but what will happen when two retailers sell a slightly different product but the retailer selling the least relevant product submitted a considerable higher bid?

Whether you are a fan of Google’s new business model or not is irrelevant. What is Important is that Vendors are aware that these changes are happening and can make a decision on the best course of action for their businesses immediately. According to Ignition1, between 5-10% of search traffic currently comes through from Google Product Search. Many vendors may not see this as a fatal change to their bottom line, however, by being aware of these changes, that many business will not even be aware are about to happen, you will have an extremely competitive edge that could see a much larger return than the estimated 10% of current traffic received from Google product search.

At this point Google Shopping is creating more questions that answers and only time will tell how Google Shopping will work out when fully rolled out. The stand out point for every SME that doesn’t have the substantial marketing budget, that it is anticipated you may need to be successful in Google Shopping, is that the organic results shown on a Google results page is now the only indirectly free way to have your products and services displayed. It is now even more crucial to get this right by having a clear SEO strategy in place, working with a proven SEO services company, and being as creative as possible in making your online business visible.

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