In mid-October, Google transitioned its free, organic links of Google Merchant to a paid model called Google Shopping via Product Listing Ads. Google has just announced that it plans to release the same commercial model internationally to the following countries: the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland.
The search engine says that it will be a gradual transition in order for merchants to optimize their campaigns and the first major change will be on February 3, 2013. At this time, Google will release cleaner results for shopping queries in addition to some of the new commercial formats on Google.com that appear like square units. These new results will replace current search results and will be labeled as “Sponsored” and appear in the space that is currently paid search ads. Google expects the international transition to be complete by the end of the second quarter in 2013.
Google’s ultimate goal for the Shopping transition is to create a better shopping experience so that users will find products in one place and are able to compare features and pricing and read merchant reviews easily. Google believes that a paid model for merchants allows better, more relevant product data which will lead to a better experience for shoppers.
Earlier this summer we reported that Google Merchant will transition to Google Shopping by this fall. Google has announced that starting on October 17th, Google Shopping results in the United States will come only from merchants who have Product Listing Ads (PLA) implemented within their AdWords accounts.
The search engine will rank PLA results based on relevance and will also take CPC or CPA bidding into consideration. Google says that one of the reasons for the migration is to build a better shopping experience for its users.
Google has also announced the ability of product level bidding for PLA campaigns. Advertisers will be able to set CPCs at the item level. In addition, it is now possible to create product targets using the product ID in your Merchant Center feed to manage your bids at the product level. What’s more, a new Merchant Center tab will be available within AdWords for advertisers to be better equipped to manage PLA campaigns.
The transition to Google Shopping is just in time for the holiday season. Ecommerce sites that have seen revenue from Google Merchant organic clicks should implement Product Listing Ad campaigns in time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday online shopping.
Google recently announced that its Merchant program will be transitioning to a new commercial model, called Google Shopping. With Google Shopping, merchants set up Product Listing Ads (PLA) within AdWords in order bid on listings for products within a datafeed. Merchants have the option to use either cost-per-click (CPC) bidding or cost-per-acquisition (CPA) percentage bidding. With a CPA model, merchants pay AdWords on a commission basis and only when an AdWords click leads to a transaction on a merchant’s website.
With CPA bidding, merchants can focus on conversions by setting a cap as to how much the merchant is willing to pay. The merchant will only pay AdWords when the product is purchased by an online shopper; in addition, the merchant will pay AdWords a percentage of the product’s price. In a CPC model, the merchant pays AdWords for each click incurred, regardless of whether the online shopper made a purchase on the merchant’s website.
To implement CPA bidding, conversion tracking must be enabled for your PLA campaign. In order for the CPA model to work, it must correctly track sales and pricing for specific products targeted by your campaign. In the “Conversions” tab of AdWords, select a transaction/purchase conversion and under the Advanced options, select “Applicable for CPA% commission campaigns” and click save. Next, the conversion code must be implemented on your site.
CPA bidding is a great alternative to CPC bidding, especially for ecommerce sites that are focused on their return on advertising spend as well as for merchants who have different cost per conversion goals across a variety of product lines.