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For years, the only way to showcase your products within Google’s search results has been through paid shopping ad campaigns.

Though effective, these Shopping campaigns have grown increasingly competitive and more costly, despite more popular shopping sites like Amazon and Pinterest offering organic ways to promote your goods.

Now, Google is returning to its organic search roots with a new way to showcase clothes and other retail products in a specialized search results format for mobile users.

What Are Popular Products Listings?

 

The Popular Products section is designed to pull together relevant products for searches focused on shopping or retail.

As the company explains in the announcement:

“Starting today, you’ll begin to see clothes, shoes and accessories from across the web in one place on Search on your mobile device, so you can easily browse lots of different stores and brands at once.”

The search results in the section can also be further refined by style, department, and size, with each listing taking interested shoppers to a store’s website.

How To Get Your Products In The Popular Products Section

Though it takes a little bit of specialized work, the process of including your products is relatively easy for most website managers.

Firstly, retailers start the process by uploading their products into Google’s Merchant Center – a free tool available for all retailers. Additionally, you can increase the chances of your products being included by including structured markup data in your product listings.

As Google says:

“Just as we don’t charge sites to be part of the Google Search index, participating retailers appear in this new feature for free. Retailers can learn more about what types of products are eligible to appear in this shopping experience on Search.” 

Retailers are increasingly relying on Google Shopping Ads to promote their products and increase sales. In fact, some estimates suggest more than half of all retailer ad spend in the US is spent on Shopping Ads.

However, the increased popularity is making it harder than ever to compete within Google Shopping listings. With so much competition, how are you supposed to guarantee your products will show up for interested searchers?

Well London ad agency Cliqteq has some answers for you. With their helpful infographic, you can learn seven great ways to boost your Google Shopping performance and get even more attention with your ads:

SimilarItems

Google Image Search is making it easier for consumers to find the exact item they’re looking for with a new “Similar Items” suggestion area on searches from mobile devices. The company says the new feature will also help shoppers find new products that compliment one they were already looking for, opening an entirely new door for potential sales.

For the moment, the suggestions feature is limited to just handbags, sunglasses, and shoes. This is to allow Google to refine the feature and guarantee it is providing relevant results for searchers. Over the next few months, they aim to expand to include other apparel and potentially home & garden items.

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”Using machine vision technology, the Similar items feature identifies products in lifestyle images and displays matching products to the user.”

In the same stroke, Google has also made the existing product results in image searches more useful for consumers by displaying price and availability information in results.

Including your products and services in the “Similar Items” feature requires adding Schema.org product metadata to the pages for every product you want to include. Theoretically, this would mean you could also exclude specific items from “Similar Items” results if desired.

The metadata markup tells Google the name, image, price, availability, & currency your business uses to include in search results. Once you’ve added the markup, it can take up to a week for Google to crawl your new data and add it to the search results.

If you’ve already implemented Schema metadata but your products aren’t showing up in the results, you may test your pages with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to check for errors that may be keeping your products out.

shopping-carts

Google is rolling out a new update to its Local Inventory Ads that let allows searchers to browse in-stock products when they search for a business. That means if a users searchers for your business, they could browse your inventory straight from Google.

So far, the new features are limited to a small number of retailers, such as Macy’s and Ikea. However, it is expected to continue spreading to businesses of all sizes in the coming months.

The update is not a surprise, as Google announced the expanded features utilizing their its Knowledge Graph and Google Maps back in May. However, it was first spotted this week by Nicolai Helling who captured a few screenshots of what it looks like out in the wild.

shopping-google-my-business-web-EN

With the new features, you’ll see a new line in the Knowledge Panel underneath your NAP (name, address, phone number) information which says: “Search items at this store”. You can also find this in Google Maps underneath the store’s hours.

If a user clicks on this, they’ll be taken to a page hosted by Google where you can refine exactly what item you are looking for. If they select a specific product, they will then be directed to a dedicated page product information as well as information about where to purchase the product online or in store.

To use the feature as it rolls out, you will need to be signed up for Google’s Local Inventory Ads program and be running ads with your products and inventory information.

 AdWords In Store Visits

Today, Google announced their highly anticipated ‘Buy’ button with the unveiling of the new “Purchases on Google” feature, along with several other big upgrades.

Select retailers running mobile ads can now choose to include a ‘Buy on Google’ option that takes shoppers to a branded product page hosted by Google. From there, shoppers can finalize their purchase and save purchasing information for future use if you choose.

According to Google, this feature is only in the experimental early stages and is being limited to a small number of retailers.

Retailers who choose to use Purchases on Google will only have to pay for clicks on the shopping ads to the product page. They will also have the option to invite customers to join their mailing list during the transaction.

While Google will take responsibility for hosting product pages and providing security throughout the sale, it will be up to retailers to provide customer communication.

Along with the announcement of Purchases on Google, the company introduced a few more new features for AdWords:

  • Swipe to Reveal: When a user swipes on a Google ad carousel will show more information about the products, including price and availability.
  • Ratings and Reviews: Shopping ads with product ratings and reviews will now be shown if searchers use specific trigger words, such as “best”, ”reviews”, “recommendations”, etc.
  • Priority for Local Inventory Ads: LIA’s will now receive priority for local intent shopping queries.
  • App Deep-Linking: Ads from select retailers will now include links to view a product on their app.Today, Google announced their highly anticipated ‘Buy’ button with the unveiling of the new “Purchases on Google” feature, along with several other big upgrades.

Google Delivery

Google is partnering with six delivery providers across the US to establish a new service that will deliver food to your home, straight from the search results.

“Whether you’re craving deep dish pizza or pad thai, starting today you can order food from some of your favorite restaurants directly from Google search results.”

Thanks to the new service, US residents can simply type in what they want to eat, select the restaurant of their choice, then click “Place an order” without ever leaving the search engine.

From there, simply place your order, choose your preferred delivery service, and complete your order from the website.

Google’s partners in this venture currently include the following companies:

  • Seamless
  • GrubHub
  • Eat24
  • Delivery.com
  • BeyondMenu
  • MyPizza.com

 

The search engine will potentially add more delivery providers in the future as it expands this service.

In line with this new addition, Google is also allowing users to book appointments and make reservations directly from the SERPs.

Local businesses should be especially interested in the service as there is no complicated opt-in. Just go to your Google My Business dashboard and ensure the feature is turned on.

According to a Google help center article, links to place an order or book an appointment will appear automatically for eligible businesses.

Google Shopping officially switched to a paid service for businesses at the beginning of the month, which means a whole new set of issues for users trying to get their Product Listing Ads campaigns up and running.

Mary Weinstein reports for Search Engine Watch that AdWords support staff has been less than helpful when trying to resolve these new issues. So, here are the problems you’re likely to encounter and how to fix them.

You may have found that trying to get your Auto Targets to validate is extremely frustrating. Don’t throw your computer out the window just yet though.

  1. Check to make sure the wording on your Auto Target and the wording on your product type or AdWords label matches exactly. If it isn’t a carbon copy, with no special symbols, AdWords may have trouble matching them.
  2. Check your filters. Ideally, you have no filters running for your PLA campaigns. If you open the filters tab and see filters being applied, remove them from this campaign and you might just solve the problem.
  3. Check the PLA campaigns ad extension. Your AdWords account should be linked to your Google Merchant login. Also, if you have multiple logins, make sure this campaign is linked to the correct one.

Hopefully, these quick fixes will get you up and running with PLAs and allow you to avoid the time waste that is Google support.