Fifty percent of Google Product Search traffic will be switching to paid Google Shopping by July 28. Online merchants who aren’t ready for the switch will face some serious repercussions.
According to IgnitionOne, between 5 and 10 percent of search traffic for retailers comes from Google Product Search. Google Product Search, Google’s current free product listing program, will gradually be replaced by Product Listing Ads (PLAs) and ultimately Google Shopping.
Product Listing Ads are AdWords ads that include rich product information, such as product image, price, and merchant name. Whenever a user enters a search query relevant to an item in your Merchant Center account, Google will automatically show the most relevant products along with the associated image, price and product name.
To create Product Listing Ads, you’ll need to have an AdWords account and a Merchant Center account. You can submit your products by creating Product Listing Ads. You’ll find resources to help you get started here.
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Although the full transition to Google Shopping won’t happen until October, it is important for sellers to get started now (You could lose 10 percent of your site traffic!). Understand that making these changes and optimizing your ads on Google Shopping will take time. To make this easier, Google is offering two incentives:
- All merchants who create Product Listing Ads by August 15, 2012 will automatically receive a monthly AdWords credit of 10% of their total spend on Product Listing Ads through the end of the year.
- Additionally, active Product Search merchants as of May 30, 2012 can fill out this form by August 15, 2012 and receive a $100 AdWords credit to use toward Product Listing Ads.
I’m already a Product Search merchant. What do I need to do to participate in Google Shopping?
To appear on Google Shopping, you can create Product Listing Ads from your existing merchant feed. You’ll find resources to get you started here. While your current product listings will continue to appear on Google Shopping for a few months, it’s important to note that bid is one factor in how products will be ranked on the page, along with relevance. Also note that your feed will need to comply with our new policies, which you can find here.