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Google Shopping to end free listings

Jun 6, 2012

Google made a major announcement on May 31st that they will be ending their free listings program and switching exclusively to a paid model sometime this Fall. Google Product Search will be renamed to Google Shopping.

Your existing Google product feed will continue to go to Google Merchant Center as before. The feed will be used to generate the pay-per-click listings, known as Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs).

As an incentive, merchants who sign up before August 15th will receive a $100 Adwords credit, and 10% off of clicks for the rest of the year. Sign up here.

We understand the concern this causes to our customers, who tend to be small to mid-size merchants that rely heavily on Google. Here are a couple recommendations.

We recommend all merchants to sign up for Product Ads. You will be able to set a daily budget on your Adwords spending, and bid as low as $0.01 for clicks.

You can optimize the data feeds for PLA via the following techniques:

  • restricting the products that are submitted via product filtering
  • setting bid levels
  • monitoring performance

At this time, however, we recommend you submit all your listings and set your daily spend and bid to a level you are comfortable with. There is a two minute Getting Started video that shows you how to set up your Product Listing Ads campaign quickly and easily.

We recommend you sign up for the other free shopping engines, which are Bing Shopping (via Microsoft Adcenter) and TheFind. We are looking into other free shopping engines, like PriceScan and ShopWiki, and will let you know more as we find out. As always, feel free to let us know what shopping engines you are interested in, and we would be more than happy to set up the data feeds for you.

Here is the link to the official announcement.

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