In an attempt to combat coronavirus as people can’t shop physically but go online instead, and companies pulling marketing spend Google have announced they are to allow their most successful e-commerce ad product – Google Shopping Ads or PLA’s to feature in a free listing.
Now whilst this is great for e-commerce companies, I can’t help be suspicious (you know me when it comes to Google) that this is more to do with the massive growth in Amazon sales during this crisis, and our chums at Google see an opportunity to grab market-share.
From May, Google will allow e-commerce companies to show their products across Google Shopping tab (not the SERPS’s page) you need to be running Google Shopping ads for that.
But it’s a lovely opportunity for online retailers to feature their products when people search on Google.
Obviously you won’t feature unless you have a Google Merchant Centre account (GMC Account) and all the usual attributes needed still apply.
But it has to be a welcome development at this uncertain time for retailers.
If you already have a GMC account, please ensure you opt into “Surfaces across Google”. That way, you will feature on the free listings.
At the moment, this is only applicable to the USA, but Google will roll it out worldwide throughout 2020 so the time to set it up is now.
Shopping ads remain unaffected
Google Shopping Ads do take primacy on the organic search page as a premium placement.
So when someone searches for your product, you appear on the initial search results page as a paid shopping placement. (See below)
The free listing only appears if a user then selects the shopping tab at the top of their results page. So in terms of UX this is a further hurdle to get here but there will be shoppers who will go through the extra step.