Free is moving to Fee
The free Merchant Listings known as Google Products is just about to 'close'. Google announced on May 31st that they will be changing the 'business model' and rolling out Google Shopping. Only merchants that “pay to be listed” will be eligible to advertise within this new PLA (Product Listing Ads) format.
Google says the older free model can lead to some shady and obsolete information, whereas by charging vendors, they will "encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date."
Google is offering incentives to merchants to transition to this new model:
- All merchants who create Product Listing Ads by August 15, 2012 will automatically receive a monthly credit for 10% of their total Product Listing Ad spend through the end of 2012
- Existing Google Product Search merchants can receive $100 AdWords credit toward Product Listing Ads if they fill out a form before August 15, 2012.
The changes have begun, and more will take place over the next few months. The projected timeline looks something like this:
- June 1
Experiments begin on select searches
- July 1
Transition begins to replace Google Shopping to Google PLA (Product Listing Ads)
- August 15
Incentive program deadline:
- 10% charge back for rest of the year on PLA (Product Listing Ads) spend
- $100 Adwords credit
- October 1
Full transition to new PLA (Product Listing Ads) model
In addition, merchants who want to stand out from the crowd can choose to participate in Google's new Trusted Stores program. Google Trusted Stores is a badge for e-commerce sites which gives users background on merchants—whatever their size—including ratings for on-time shipping and customer service. Google stands behind merchants that have earned the Google Trusted Stores badge with a $1,000 lifetime purchase protection guarantee per shopper.
If you are interested in a creating a new Google Merchant's Account or moving to the new Google Shopping PLA format and need help, contact our Web Marketing Department or call 215-345-5424.