Google is in the process of changing how we shop online and, perhaps most pertinently for businesses, how retailers advertise their products. The introduction of Google Shopping is already stirring debate, including at Chichester Design, and has ramifications for large firms and SMEs alike.
The change that has got everyone talking is that the new Google Shopping, which is due to be launched in the US in the autumn and is expected in the UK next year, will comprise only paid placements: currently Product Search provides a mix of paid and unpaid placements. In addition, on standard search engine result pages, Google Shopping results will feature above leading organic results (they currently feature in the middle of the page). AdWords text ads will remain at the top.
The switch will certainly have an impact on ecommerce retailers that employ online advertising strategies, including AdWords. Google has said that the new system will improve the e-commerce shopping experience for consumers, a comment that suggests that businesses using this paid service will generate greater return on investment and sales. Google Shopping should also provide online retailers will better protection against price erosion and unreliable sellers – the sort that promise fantastically low prices in the search result text only for a click through to reveal a very different story.
Taking a step back, Google’s decision to make a u-turn in its attitude to paid inclusion underlines a growing trend in online advertising. It seems that the marketplace is growing more sophisticated, which it appears will mean more paid services and, from the point of view of businesses, a greater focus on quality content.
This focus can only be a good thing. However an online retail business approaches its digital marketing and online advertising, it seems to me that the way Google is evolving means that there is growing necessity for high-quality, search-friendly content behind the advertising and marketing, which means those businesses willing to put more in should get more out.
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