Google has had shopping portals for years, but what is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping has been around for some time (around a decade), although it’s been known as many names: Froogle; Google Product Base; Google Products; Google Product Search. It allows web surfers to go shopping online with ease. What makes it so user-friendly? Well, for starters, users can compare products and prices between multiple vendors quickly and easily. What this means is that merchants need to be vigilant about their prices, and their competitors’ prices. Frugal shoppers no longer have to drive to multiple stores and leaf through dozens of catalogs to compare and contrast prices. They simply go to Google Shopping.
While this type of site adds a lot of pressure and competition to merchants, it also opens up merchants to a larger number of buyers. Who doesn’t use Google? You’d be hard-pressed to find an online searcher who doesn’t use Google as their default search engine. Merchants who list their products on Google Shopping are able to reach any shopper who searches for products using Google.
Controversy arises with Google Shopping: 2012 brings a pay-to-play model
In 2012, Google announced it would change its Google Shopping model to a pay-to-play model, meaning that merchants would have to pay Google to get their products on the Google Shopping service (this resulted in a clever Bing ad campaign referred to as “Scroogled”).
This model means that product search results would be directly affected not only by the relevance of the product to the searchers’ keyword choice (SEO), but also by the bid amounts paid by merchants (advertising).
Google stated that this move would give web surfers a more accurate result for their product searches, but small businesses disagreed. They argued that they’d have a hard time competing with larger corporations with deeper pockets.
Google Rules – So Google Shopping Rules
Anyone who doesn’t believe that Google rules the search engine game, need only to look at hard data to realize that few other companies in the world hold such a large percentage of the market, in any industry. As a result, it’d be a dangerous tactic for merchants not to “pay-to-play.” Online merchants who have product listing ads with Google stand a better chance of increasing their online sales.
Product Listing Ads (PLA) appear on Google’s search results page (in certain sections, such as the right-hand side). That means that users don’t even have to go to Google Shopping to find your product. They can use Google.com. But these PLAs also appear beautifully on Google Shopping’s page, like a modern-day catalog. A simple search of bikes will show up an endless number of images and models. If you have an up-to-date, well-crafted PLA, with keyword-rich consumer-focused content, you significantly increase your likelihood of an online sale.
It’s not enough to pay to play. You want to get the biggest return on investments, right? In order to do that, you need to approach Google Shopping with a well-planned approach. If you’re not sure how to do this, or need some outside support, OperationROI can help. Find out how we can help you make the most of Google Shopping. Call us at 1-888-277-5429 or fill out our contact form for more information.