On the Google Commerce Blog today (September 12th, 2012), Google provided some valuable information about where they are in the process and some analysis of companies who have been using the CPC Google Shopping model thus far.
With just over two weeks left before the complete adoption of the CPC model is to be in place, Google states they have inventories from over 100,000 sellers. They even boast some of those sellers are marketplaces.
For folks who are wanting to see some sort of case study as to the success of others using Product Listing Ads (PLA), Google has graciously provided some examples. I have to say, however, that these examples only truly address the adoption of Product Listing Ads, as many of the statistics provided include a time frame long before free listings in Google Shopping began to be replaced by PLAs. Here are links to a couple:
- ToolKing.com – https://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/toolkingstudy.pdf – PDF Document
- Campmor – https://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/campmorstudy.pdf – PDF Document
- Adorama – https://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/adoramastudy.pdf – PDF Document
I would caution anyone reading these case studies. Whereas they provide great information about adoption of PLAs, results coming from post June 2012 must be considered skewed. Since the old Google Product Search One Box was removed from SERPs, shopping traffic was left to click into PLAs, generating more clicks. As free listings in Google Shopping are removed, many merchants saw their presence in Google Shopping disappear as well, creating less competition for early adopters of PLAs.
It is my position that true case studies for Google Shopping under the new system cannot truly be considered until free listings are completely replaced and SEPRs layout is finalized by Google.
Laundry List of Google Shopping Transition Improvements:
- Biggest Improvement: Adwords Editor is now much faster at updating PLA campaigns.
- Google Trusted Stores annotations are now showing up on product pages in Google Shopping.
- Sign-up for Adwords is also accessible via Merchant Center.
New Google Shopping Policy Adjustments:
- Based on Healthcare & Medications – No changes yet. Vitamin C STILL consider a policy violation.
- Based on Family Status – No changes yet – Still can’t fine a nice cabernet sauvignon.
- Based on Weapons – No changes yet. Knives are STILL in the index, though Adwords Policy says they are not allowed.
We can only hope as we move closer to the holiday buying season that the Google Adwords and Google Shopping policies stop blanket excluding products and we can operate under one cohesive set of product listing policies.
Stay tuned as further developments arise.
For the complete text of the latest Google Commerce blog referenced in this post, see: https://commerce.googleblog.com/2012/09/google-shopping-momentum-and-merchant.html