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  • Google moving to all paid Google Product Search listings

    I'm not sure if anyone else out there is aware of this but figured I would post it here since a lot of us use the Google Product Search.
    Google is transforming its formerly free Google Product Search listings into Google Shopping, a new vertical that will only be stocked with products that companies have paid to place there. That’s a big change for Google, which had previously took a stand against what’s called “paid inclusion” in which a company can pay to have its results mixed in with regular search listings.

    Google is framing the move as a way to better serve shoppers and get more accurate data from merchants, some of whom may have inadvertently listed out of date prices or were flat out pushing incorrect pricing to lure in customers. The changeover won’t happen fully until this fall and Google is providing some incentives like credits for product listing ads and AdWords to convince merchants to pony up. Google said that the rankings in Google Shopping will be based on a combination of relevance and bid price so merchants can have some control over how prominently their products appear. Here’s what Google said in a blog post:

    We believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date. 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 merchants

    Google is also experimenting with the way products appear in regular web searches with larger sponsored product ads that feature more information and larger pictures. Products will still appear for free in regular Google searches; only Google Shopping will require paid ads to be listed.

    I don’t know how much actual traffic merchants get from Google Product Search but I can imagine some mixed reactions to this change. Some might want to pay to get a shot at having their products appear more prominently and many probably already are paying for some ads. But a lot of other merchants might balk at having to pay for something that was formerly free. It could be seen as a pay-to-play proposition. Users could also lose out by not seeing the breadth of products if many merchants decline to advertise through Google Shopping. That could make Google Shopping less popular with price-comparing consumers because the universe of products it features could be much smaller.

    As Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land pointed out, this is the first time Google has put a price tag on an originally free product. The company introduced new verticals such Google Hotel Finder and Google Flight Search last year but it only became apparent recently that those two services were serving up results from the beginning that reflected paid relationships. Google has historically said it wouldn’t resort to paid inclusion, even including language in its original IPO filing about its avoidance of the practice. But the company doesn’t seem to think this is paid inclusion because sponsored products will clearly be marked as such. That’s up for debate, though, because Google is essentially creating a place where only paying customers can display their wares.

    Now, we’ll have to see if Google starts transforming other search products in the same way. Sullivan speculated that Google could be positioning Google Shopping as an eventual commerce destination where people can not just find products but buy them directly through the site. That would put it direct competition with Amazon and other online retailers.

    Even if it doesn’t go that far, it shows that Google is taking more steps toward monetizing formerly free services. For example, it has moved to start charging developers for API access to Google Maps, which was largely free for most developers. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that a big company wants to squeeze more revenue out of its properties. But Google has always been known for providing so many products for free. This move to monetize more broadly may take some adjustment but it shows that Google is increasingly looking at the bottom line.
    Google moving to all paid Google Product Search listings — Tech News and Analysis
    ___________________
    Toymaster
    www.1upcollectibles.com
    www.facebook.com/1upCollectible

  • #2
    I saw this two and there are some discussions on ArtFire and Etsy on it. I am not crazy about this change at all. Does this mean that Google will now be dominated by major retail chains and where do we fit in? What happens if you have multiple sites with similar content? What is the pricing structure? I have a lot of questions but don't seem to be able to find any answers yet. I guess the topic is just too new.

    I really think that everybody needs to watch this change. Even Google thinks that it is a major game changer.

    As a small business, I am not sure what to do at this point but I guess I will figure it out in the next few weeks as more information becomes available.

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    • #3
      I signed up for this web presentation that is happening tomorrow which should go over the changes:

      Understanding Googles Changes to Google Product Search | ChannelAdvisor

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by cbsteven View Post
        I signed up for this web presentation that is happening tomorrow which should go over the changes:

        Understanding Googles Changes to Google Product Search | ChannelAdvisor

        Thank you for positing the link. I joined it as well. see your there
        Elegant Weddings +
        www.elegantweddingsplus.ca
        www.elegantweddingsplus.com

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        • #5
          Thank you from me as well. I registered also

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          • #6
            I guess my landlord is raising the rent yet again :(

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            • #7
              Show people your store is a great place to shop. Apply to become a Google Trusted Sto

              In case you missed this part ....

              Google Trusted Store

              G1 Gallery

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by g1gallery View Post
                In case you missed this part ....

                Google Trusted Store

                G1 Gallery
                Didn't miss it but wasn't impressed when I read it. $1K per store? that's a bit NOT much, no guarantee that you you will get a higher ranking among the sharks. Only a badge.... Just like TheFind has, and it's free.

                EDIT: I left out the NOT - for the LIFETIME claims.
                Last edited by ElegantWeddings; 06-01-2012, 08:14 AM.
                Elegant Weddings +
                www.elegantweddingsplus.ca
                www.elegantweddingsplus.com

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                • #9
                  I'm confused, are you saying that the Google Trusted Stores thing costs money? I haven't seen that anywhere, but the documentation still seems to be incomplete.

                  Or maybe you are talking about the $1000 coverage to consumers, which is not that much of a benefit, but as a consumer I would probably put some significant faith in Google's badge since it is based on real data about a merchant's reliability... so it is probably worth going for if you are able to provide the data easily.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cbsteven View Post
                    I'm confused, are you saying that the Google Trusted Stores thing costs money? I haven't seen that anywhere, but the documentation still seems to be incomplete.

                    Or maybe you are talking about the $1000 coverage to consumers, which is not that much of a benefit, but as a consumer I would probably put some significant faith in Google's badge since it is based on real data about a merchant's reliability... so it is probably worth going for if you are able to provide the data easily.

                    I guess I shouldn't type that early in the morning ...

                    I meant the coverage. That is lifetime for a store. If you are selling items that costs a few hundred that limit reaches very quickly. Then what happens? you get a negative rating? that part is unclear.

                    Yes I agree, the badge will give some incentive only because it is the 'Mighty' google. Other than that it looks a lot like BBB badge that costs money. We'll wait for the webinar to see if we can gather more information.
                    Elegant Weddings +
                    www.elegantweddingsplus.ca
                    www.elegantweddingsplus.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      @Toymaster - thank you for posting this.

                      @cbsteven - thank you for the link - signed up for both webinars as well

                      I think we all knew this was coming, it was just a matter of when. Personally, I believe it will be a game changer in a positive way. Think about all the ebay listings that show up for similar products in the current incarnation of product search and make your listing price seem high. Those will likely be gone.

                      One thing to take note of: the product listings will be managed in Adwords once the transition is complete. We use an agency to manage our Adwords campaigns, and as soon as I read the Google post I put in a call to ask if the management fee would be going up. I also asked if I wanted them to manage my Adwords campaigns but not my Google Shopping feeds, how will that be separated? Since the news just came out yesterday, I didn't get an answer, but it's something to consider if you have your Adwords account handled by an agency.

                      Lastly, Google's offering 10% off CPC fees until the end of the year + a $100 credit if you create Product Ads before August 15th.
                      Chris
                      TC Life Safety
                      TC Wireless

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                      • #12
                        The way I read it, the $1000 is a coverage to the consumer. So every shopper is eligible for $1000 in claims over the course of the program's lifetime. I don't see any per-store limit.

                        (Edit) Link: Your purchase protection - Google Trusted Stores Customer Help

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cbsteven View Post
                          The way I read it, the $1000 is a coverage to the consumer. So every shopper is eligible for $1000 in claims over the course of the program's lifetime. I don't see any per-store limit.
                          ahh...... ok thanks!
                          I was reading it as the merchant, that's why I got that impression. Thanks a bunch...
                          Elegant Weddings +
                          www.elegantweddingsplus.ca
                          www.elegantweddingsplus.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            2nd Webinar?

                            Good morning!

                            Can any of you give a quick summary about what the 2nd webinar on Monday was all about? I missed that one.

                            Thanks,
                            Uta

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I didn't attend, but I know that they were going to post re-plays of both webinars. I don't have a link, though. Would just poke around the channeladvisor site.

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