US users will today start seeing product listing ads in their search results:
“Product Listing Ads is part of our effort to simplify the advertising process for merchants with large product inventories. Some of the key features of Product Listing Ads include:
- Pay only for results: Product Listing Ads are charged on a cost-per-action (CPA) basis, which means that you only pay when a user clicks on your ad and completes a purchase on your site. Because Product Listing Ads is charged on a CPA basis, it offers a risk-free way for you to reach a larger audience on Google.com.
- List your entire inventory: Product Listing Ads requires no keywords or additional ad text. Whenever a user enters a search query relevant to an item in your Google Merchant Center account, Google will automatically show the most relevant products along with the associated image, price and product name. Product Listing Ads makes it easy for you to promote your entire product inventory on Google.com.
At this time, Product Listing Ads is still a beta feature and is only available to a limited number of retail advertisers. Over time, we’ll increase the number of users who see Product Listing Ads as well as the number of advertisers able to participate.”
Google has been pushing product search harder and harder for some time now and this is the latest installment. The main point for online retailers to take note of here is that you will only pay for results i.e. it is a Cost Per Action (CPA) service, making it a risk free way to reach a large audience.
Natural search results will obviously be affected as relevant results are moved further down the page, as has already been seen in the UK with Google Shopping (Froogle) results appearing toward the top of natural search result pages.
Online retailers who have not already decided to offer their product ranges using Base and other available feed services will need to start considering this quickly and making the necessary changes.