We always knew this day would come, but it seems all good things must come to an end eventually. The sad news is finally here; clicks obtained from Google Shopping listings have been free up to now but from this autumn, you will have to pay for feeds targeting the US. Later in the year or early 2013 this will be extended to include feeds targeting the UK.
This will come as a hefty blow to those online sellers who rely on Google Shopping listings to drive traffic to their website.
To have any chance of a decent click through rate (CTR), it has always been Optillion’s recommendation that any listings you make are sufficiently relevant to the search term so that they appear in the top three results in Google Shopping, and therefore appear on a normal search engine results page (SERP).
Once the transition to paid clicks occurs, the listings will be dependent, not only on their relevance to the search term (as they are now), but also how much you, as an online seller, are willing to bid for a click. Payment for paid clicks will be taken through the Google AdWords system where you will see an invitation to create a Products Listing Ad Campaign on your Merchant Centre Dashboard.
Through Google AdWords, it has been possible for some time to have your Google Shopping listings displayed as an Advert Extension (for the top three ad positions only) and the changeover to paid clicks for Google Shopping will be a further integration of the two systems. Your shopping listings will be created as a Products Listing Ad Campaign.
For anyone familiar with Google AdWords, this integration should be fairly straightforward, but others may need help setting up their account. If you have questions about the changeover to paid clicks, or about the creation of an AdWords account, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.
On a more positive note, you will see from the notification on your Merchant Centre Dashboard that the owners of those feeds targeting the US are being offered a $100 credit towards their first paid clicks. Happy news indeed, because we’re sure that something similar will be offered to site owners in the UK when the time comes. We’ll keep you informed as the changeover approaches.