Many firms with concentrated efforts online were left reeling in May of this year, when Sameer Samat announced the impending changes to Google’s shopping search facility. However, though the Google shopping channel’s VP struck fear across the web from Cheshire to China, it is still unclear when, how and what it will actually mean.
What was clearly understood is that yet again, Google are eager to monetise all of their platforms.
In the initial announcement, marketers were advised that the creation of Product Listing Ads will be needed, in order to appear in the shopping results. Yet more work in Adwords, then.
The exact costing of the plan not known. Neither is how these listings will be managed – per item or per site. It is known that a combination of bid price and relevancy will produce the results though.
This clearly means that an unpaid for product being sold, that meets the search criteria perfectly, will not rank highly – not with popularly searched for items in any case.
Niche retailers will likely be less affected.
For mainstream start-ups and smaller retailers, the potential negative consequences are clear. It seems that another road of free exposure is being installed with width restrictions.
When the changes will be introduced into the UK is still unclear but, as with anything in the world of search, being prepared for the changes ahead is just common sense.