Froogle, Google Product Search, Google Shopping- whatever you call it, it’s integrated with AdWords – now more than ever. And if you think Google is going to stop there…yeah, right.
This just got a bit more competitive is all. Oh yeah, and less free. If you’ve been following along with the recent announcement that Google AdWords will be discontinuing the free product listings through Google Product Search, then you’re with me already. If you haven’t- then breaking news for you!
In a nutshell- Google is making product feed submissions and displaying products a paid thing. So if you upload a product feed through Google Merchant Center (or Google Base as it’s sometimes called), then you care about this. You also care about this if you use Product Listing Ads (or PLAs) in Google AdWords in conjunction with a product feed in Google Merchant Center. You really care about this if you have only been using Google Merchant Center and NOT AdWords.
Let’s break it down, because in the end we’re talking about FIVE different Google products that could come into play for you.
Google Product Search– the section of Google.com where displays results come from product feeds and through Google web crawls. This was free to show your product feed in.
Google Merchant Center/Base– the interface where you upload your product feeds, view statistics of the same and get all your info on what’s accepted, what’s not and where you can “optimize” your product feeds using attributes provided by Google. Still technically free- but no one will see anything unless you pay.
Google AdWords– I think you know what this is. What you care about here is the auto targets tab in the AdWords user interface. More on that later. Also, never free.
Product Listing Ads (PLAs)– these are ads that are shown through linking Google AdWords with Google Merchant Center. Using attributes for AdWords like adwords_labels or adwords_groups, you can filter and control which products show with which queries or groups of products. These show one image only, show the price, display URL and an option line of promotional text you enter in through the AdWords interface. Performance is viewed on the Auto Targets tab.