Building a better shopping experience on Google

On May 31, 2012, we announced a new initiative to improve our shopping experience over time, so that shoppers (your customers) can easily research purchases, compare different products, their features and prices, and then connect directly with merchants to make their purchase.

As part of this new initiative, called Google Shopping, we transitioned Google Product Search in the US to a commercial model built on Product Listing Ads. This transition was completed on October 17.

We have now announced that Google Shopping is transitioning to a commercial model built on Product Listing Ads in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. The transition of Google Shopping to a commercial experience will be complete in these locales by the end of Q2 2013.

We believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date. Higher quality data — whether it’s accurate prices, the latest offers, or product availability — should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for merchants.

Organic web results on Google.com will not be affected by this transition.

Details of the announcement can be found here.

What is changing to my existing Merchant Center account and Google Shopping data feeds?

Your product feeds will continue to be uploaded through Google Merchant Center. In an effort to improve the data quality on Google Shopping, we updated our international feed specifications. The new feed specifications will take effect in March 2013. These updates will align our global product feeds more closely and enable us to surface better results to users. Please visit our new summary of attribute requirements and feed specification.

In addition to the update to our international feed specifications, we have also released a new set of Google Shopping program policies. For more information on the upcoming changes, please review the policies available here.

What is a Product Listing Ad? How do I start submitting them?

Product Listing Ads are ads that include rich product information, such as product image, price, and merchant name. Whenever a user enters a search query on Google.com relevant to an item you are trying to sell, Google will automatically show the most relevant products along with the associated image, price, and product name.

Product information for Product Listing Ads is submitted through data feeds managed through Google Merchant Center. Learn more about getting started with Product Listing Ads.