From the start of July 2013 (at the very latest) – you’ll have to pay for *all* the traffic you get form Google Shopping Search.
Here’s the official blog post from Google :-read more
There is no doubt that decent product images can help you sell a product.
Google shopping (paid or unpaid still in the UK) can make up quite a large percentage of your online sales.
If you are selling the same product at the same price as someone else, but they have an amazing 3D image of the product, I am guessing that they will be getting more sales than you…
As with any of these new fangled type things, it’s not a massive deal just yet – but it will be, so you may as well look into this now rather than later on when it’s too late!
Sample 3D Images (I have to admit that these are pretty amazing) – http://www.google.com/shopping/holidaytoys.
Sign Up Form – https://services.google.com/fb/forms/Shopping360Images/.read more
It varies, but here is one example :-
At any rate – while getting your products listed in the Google Shopping results is still free in the UK, if you have an e-commerce site, and you don’t already have a Google Merchant Center account set up – do it now!
PS – As far as I know there are still no concrete plans to introduce ‘paid only’ clicks on Google Shopping results in the UK – but it’s already happened in the USA – so I guess the free clicks won’t last for ever.
PPS – I still haven’t heard when Google Shopping will implemented for the Republic of Ireland. If anyone does hear about either of these things – I’d love to know. :-)read more
I’ve noticed with a few clients recently that there are more and more products in their Google Merchant Center accounts that are being disapproved for ‘Product Search’.
These products are *not* guns or drugs or fake goods and they do use upper case excessively.
Naturally, I asked (on a number of occasions) AdWords and Merchant Center support to please tell me why these items had been disapproved.
Here is one email I got from the ‘Google Product Search Team’ –
Thank you for your patience!
Our Technical Team has reviewed your Product Listing ads and can confirm that your ads have been correctly disapproved, the reason for this is because we have recently implemented some changes on Google Shopping designed to ensure that all products displayed in results adhere to our program policies (http://support.google.com/merchants/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=188484#US). These changes have resulted in the removal of certain products from Google Shopping results; some products that were previously displayed in results no longer appear or may be disapproved and some queries in Google Shopping may show less results.
Because we share proprietary technology with other Google products, we are unable to comment on specific aspects of the Google Shopping algorithm that may affect your products. However, please know that we’re continuously reviewing our policy enforcement processes and we look forward to improving the way we evaluate products for inclusion over the coming months.
Our content providers are extremely important to us and we understand that some changes made to the product may affect a merchant’s products and traffic. We share similar goals with our content providers and our hope is that the changes we make to the product will provide an increasingly useful shopping experience for shoppers and advertisers.
I apologize for the inconvenience caused and thank you for understanding!
Have a great day! :)
But, funnily enough, I did still have concerns, so I replied with the following :-
Is there any way we can tell *why* the item has been disapproved? i.e. is it because of the text in the description or because of the EAN or product category?
Here is the reply I got :-
Thank you for writing back!
I understand your concern and I know you would like to know about the reason for the disapproval of your Product Listing Ads.
To be frank even I’m not privy to the reason why your ads were disapproved. As I had stated in my previous email due to the nature of the product and the fact that it shares proprietary technology with other Google products, I am unable to shed more light on specific aspects of the Google Shopping algorithm that may affect your products.
I am sorry that I could not be of more help in this matter, I tried to do the best I could but as I’m not the one who frames the rules or the policies the final decision was not with me.
Please do let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with!
I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused and I thank you for your understanding.
So there you go – if you have any difficulty getting products approved for Product Listing Ads – remember – Google do not give a shit! (Though I have no doubt that support do their best).
Here is the link to the Google Shopping policies for info.:-read more
Irritatingly, Google have decided that you now need at least 30 reviews *in the last 12 months* to be given the AdWords Seller Ratings stars on your AdWords ads.
Here is the official post from Google :-
The really ironic thing about this is that if you are an SMB, in order to be sure you get AdWords Seller ratings, you will now need to turn to a third party review site instead of relying on Google Wallet which very few people actually use as a payment option. Another good reason for SMBs to not bother with Google Wallet as a payment option.
If there was anyone at Google with any sense – they would give website owners an automated option of asking for customer reviews in a similar way that Shopzilla and Trustpilot do. This would increase brand awareness for Google Wallet, and keep Google’s smaller customers happy too (though maybe Google no longer give a damn about small customers…)
For those of you wondering if you should even bother to get Seller Ratings – read the following sentence from Google :
On average, ads with Seller Ratings get a 17% higher CTR than the same ads without ratings.
Your home page is important. There is no denying that.
But do the majority of people who visit your web site enter through your home page?
Let’s have a look at some stats from a few different Google Analytics accounts :-
Account 1 (Page Views)
There were about 1 million unique page views, and only 33,000 unique home page views. So approximately 3.3% of unique page views on this site are the home page.
Though ‘Landing pages’ are more useful for showing how many people entered your site through your home page. Let’s have a look:-
Account 1 (Landing Pages)
Approximately 6.6% of visits to this site started at the home page.
Rather than plaster this page with loads of screen shots, I’ll summarise some more accounts…
Account 2 – Approx 10% of visits started at the home page.
Account 3 – 11.4% of visits started at the home page.
Account 4 – 17.8% of visits started at the home page.
This doesn’t mean you should neglect your home page. It *is* important. You’ll probably also find that the percentage of people entering your web site through the home page is significantly higher if:-
- You are a well known brand.
- All your PPC ads come through to your home page (not usually a good idea).
- You don’t have a Google Shopping Feed set up.
- You don’t pay for ‘Product Listing Ads’.
- You don’t do PPC.
- Your site is not an e-commerce site.
- Your site doesn’t have very many pages.
If anyone else has any interesting landing page stats, please feel free to share them!read more
Here’s some more (probably slightly biased) research from Google:-
Whether you 100% believe Google’s own figures or not, the fact remains that there are still a lot of people who will research their purchase online and then make the purchase offline.
(You can ignore this article if you only have an online presence)…read more
I blogged recently about the EU Privacy Directive. Here’s an update …
Apparently, the rules were watered down at the last minute, and, as I understand it*, you can now cover all the bases by doing something similar to
(I particularly like the way they have implemented this).
Further reading –
*this does not constitute legal advice etc. etc.
Cookie photo courtesy of photos-for-you.comread more
There is still some confusion surrounding this.
Here is an email from a very helpful contact at Google which has some helpful guidance :-
As a result of the directive, the UK Government are giving 12 months for advertisers to comply with the directive from May 25th.
Essentially, we are directing advertisers to the following website to check if they comply. http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/privacy_and_electronic_communications/the_guide/cookies.aspx
Here https://developers.google.com/analytics/resources/concepts/gaConceptsCookies is the page that outlines exactly what the Google Analytics cookie involves and I would imagine other cookie tracking providers you use have their own information on their cookies too.
We can’t give you legal advice or endorse any particular compliance approach, but you might look at:
– The advice that the UK government has given to its webmasters. http://digital.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/2012/03/19/its-not-about-cookies-its-about-privacy/
– This eConsultancy article, which outlines compliance solutions adopted by BT, John Lewis, Reuters, etc.,
If anyone has any further helpful advice – please post a comment!read more
Google are really starting to shift these up a gear now.
Used to be you’d only see them at the right of the search results.
But have a look at the following screen shot :-
So – if you have an e-commerce site and you are not using Product Listing Ads – you had better start soon!read more