The Importance of Google Merchant Centre

Over recent years Google has been updating its products inventory, going through several iterations to its current version of Google Products.

Listings on Google Products are currently a free offering (although our belief is that this may change in the near future) and are achieved via a submission to the Google Merchant Centre (GMC).

During 2010, Google has changed two key elements of the GMC

  • Many types of websites have been permanantly barred from submitting product listings at all, and editorial and quality checks of the data have increased.
  • Products in certain categories have to include more attributes; without these, products are being shown less often and are less likely to show up in a results page.

At the same time, Google is rewarding e-tailers with quality listings with potentially three distinct advantages:

  • Encouraging Google users more and more to use the “Shopping” option wherever it is deemed appropriate for the search term being used. This is where listings on Google Products are mainly visible.
  • Displaying the most relevant results for products with images, prices and short excerpts of text within the natural (organic) results pages. Typically no more than 3 entries, these appear below Pay per Click sponsored link adverts, but ahead of the first organic result – a very powerful entry in its own right.
  • Finally readily grouping products which are the same into clusters for direct price comparison, including at the same time reviews from many online comparison shopping engines as well as those from its own Checkout offering.

Relevance within Shopping and natural results for products is driven in a similar way to all things Google with longevity of listing, accurate data and popularity all combining to strengthen an individual product and e-tail store listing.

New Features Using Google’s Merchant Centre

With Google Product Extensions made available to all Google Adwords advertisers in the UK from September 2010, we will see an explosion of PPC adverts on Google displaying product pictures and prices. The display element of these adverts comes from the GMC.

From November 2010, Google will trial the “blue dot” feature for the first time in the UK, allowing advertisers with multiple stores on Google Places to enhance their product listings with information on the nearest high street store.

All of Google’s recent changes demand the highest quality product submission. Feed Manager guarantees a feed which will enable you to get the most out of every feature available with Google Products, and obtain high volumes of (free) clicks from Google Shopping.

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