Google debuts giant new look for Local Inventory Ad product search in Knowledge Panels

Last May, Google introduced the ability to find out if a local retailer had specific products in stock right from the knowledge panel listing for the retailer. Now, it’s dedicating a whole lot more real estate to the feature.
Glenn Gabe, digital marketing consultant at G-Squared Interactive, tweeted a look at the update. Below are a couple of examples. It’s available on both mobile and desktop and goes well beyond the simple “Search items at this store link” that Google originally showed. A large section includes a search box, product category links and large product listings. On mobile, users can swipe through a carousel of product listings.

The feature is part of the Local Inventory Ads product, which enables retailers to promote products available in their locations via inventory feeds submitted to Google. The links and search results lead to Google Shopping pages.
Google is also running a test to show relevant text ads in knowledge panel listings for local businesses.

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7 ways small retailers can compete with retail giants using Google Shopping

To a small niche retailer, it can seem daunting (almost pointless) to invest too heavily in Google Shopping. After all, how could you ever compete with the major players who have far more money, products and people than you do?
Well, the good news is, it is possible to be competitive in Google Shopping as a small business. In fact, done right, Google Shopping can actually be the most effective digital advertising platform in terms of Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).
Here are the top strategies for success as a small to medium-sized retailer in Google Shopping.
1. Focus on your niche
As a small retailer, you likely sell a very limited selection of niche products. Whether these are your own personal brand or from independent designers, this exclusivity is your strength.
Selling products that aren’t sold by Amazon or a hundred other retailers means there’s less competition to appear in Google Shopping for relevant searches. Even better, if you create and

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Shopping campaigns: Play like every day is a holiday

Shopping campaigns are becoming a major source of website clicks and revenue during the holiday season, and the “Shopping Campaigns: Play Like Every Day Is A Holiday” panel at SMX Advanced featured tips and advice from three PPC veterans: Ann Stanley, Todd Bowman, and Mona Elesseily.
Ann Stanley: Shopping ads, buy buttons, social commerce & remarketing
Shopping ads and buy buttons are everywhere. Stanley explored those areas where ads are driven by product feeds, and clicks either lead to retailer websites or convert on host platforms. Her talk was full of data insights and provided a neat map divided into three conversion areas:
Area #1: The search giants: David Bing vs. Goliath Google
Thanks to Windows 10, Bing Shopping ads share is growing (21% US, 9% UK). With Google Shopping winning by volume, Bing nearly always shows lower CPCs. In terms of conversion and ROAS efficiency, results vary heavily by vertical. Bottom line: if you target the US or UK, give Bing

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Can you manage your inventory with Google Shopping?

We are often asked by our clients if we can use Google Shopping or paid search to push particular products or product groups.
There are a number of reasons why they might want to do this. They might have high stock levels of a particular product; some ranges might be out of date, and they wish to sell off remaining stock; or perhaps a product is not selling as well as they had hoped, and they wish to boost the sales.
On the face of it, Google Shopping seems like a good platform for this task. Advertisers can pay more to increase the exposure of a particular product, rather than bid on keywords alone (as is the case with standard text ads). Hence, advertisers often believe Google Shopping is the ideal means to proactively manage inventory and stock levels.
However, behind this approach is the assumption that there is a direct relationship between what consumers search for and what they end up

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Google Product Listing Ads officially launch in Image search, among announcements for retailers

Purchases on Google testing continues, Product Listing Ads are getting access to more inventory and brick-and-mortar retailers running local inventory ads see some new features. These are among the announcements from Google at Shoptalk in Las Vegas on Monday.
Product Listing Ads in image search
Ads in Google image search first started appearing in the fourth quarter of last year. First noticed by Merkle, the ads are officially launching Monday. On mobile, they display in a carousel format above the organic images. Image search is considered part of the Google Search Network. If your Shopping campaign is opted in to Search partners, Product Listing Ads (PLAs) will automatically be eligible to show in image search results.

Store pickup promotion in Local Inventory Ads
Retailers using Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) can now include a “store pickup” link for shoppers who want to buy online and pick up their orders in store. The option appears on the local product landing page hosted by Google after a user

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Five reasons why GTIN should be your new favorite Google Shopping acronym

There’s a deadline coming up in the wonderful world of Google Shopping. Third Door Media’s paid media reporter Ginny Marvin talked about it back in February, and you might be seeing some warnings on the Diagnostics tab in Merchant Center.
Here’s the deal: If you sell a product that has a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), you need to include that in your feed by May 16, 2016, or else those items will be disapproved.
You’re probably already including some of these, as we’ve required this from 50 brands for more than six months, and many of you have been providing GTINs for most products in your feed for years. But now you need to include it for everything that’s a new brand-name product sold by multiple merchants.
Like all of you, I have complicated emotions when it comes to deadlines. They help get things done, but they can also be a pain in the butt. There’s plenty of other stuff

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3 upcoming trends in paid search

Recently, we’ve seen some fairly significant changes on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Right-rail ads have disappeared, and on mobile, we’re seeing more prominent placement of Google Shopping ad units.
In this article, I’ll cover some upcoming trends in paid search and speculate on where the trends will lead. Though I refer mostly to Google, these predictions apply largely to all the major search engines.
The only absolute certainty is that there will be more changes in the paid search landscape!
1. More “shopping” ad units
Google Shopping has been very successful for Google, and retailers’ share of clicks from Google Shopping ads (aka PLAs or Product Listing Ads) continues to grow. In fact, according to data from Merkle, “Across all devices, PLAs overall accounted for 38 percent of retailers’ Google search ad clicks in Q4 [2015], up from 30 percent a year earlier.”
PLA growth stemmed from a couple of very recent changes, the first of which was better visibility of Google Shopping results

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Google To Update Shopping Policy Center In February 2016

Google’s Shopping Policy Center will get an update come February 2016.
The new version, seen above, is currently in preview. Google announced the upcoming change in a Merchant Center help page, stating that the new Policy Center will provide:

Fewer and simpler Shopping policies.
More transparency into why we have each policy.
More insight into how a policy can affect your ads.
Aligned across our advertising products.

Below is a screenshot of the current Google Shopping Policy Center:

Most advertisers won’t be affected by the changes, though Google suggests reading through the updated version to be sure you’ll remain in compliance.
Google overhauled the AdWords Policy Center in 2014 with a similar aim of simplicity. There were a few changes that tightened restrictions on weapons, fireworks and tobacco, but most advertisers saw no effect.
The post Google To Update Shopping Policy Center In February 2016 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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For Some Broad Queries, Google Shopping Showing Top Categories On Mobile, Not PLAs

Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov /
Google has made a flurry of updates for shopping results and campaign features ahead of the holidays. Among them are a new display for broad product searches on mobile and a new column metric for managing product groups.
Mobile Shopping Results By Categories
Google says that 40 percent of product searches are on broad terms. To help users narrow down their searches, Google has started showing Shopping results on some broad queries segmented by category, rather than showing itemized product listing ads.
This categorization only happens in mobile search results, for now, anyway. For example, a search for “droids” shows popular categories of Collectibles and Dolls, Playsets & Toy Figures, Interlocking Blocks, Home Decor and others.

I also saw this configuration on a search for “bike” in which categories were broken out by bikes and parts and accessories.

Click Share For Product Groups
Google also added a click share column for product groups in Shopping campaigns. The new click share

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Holidays Are Comin’: Preparing Your Paid Search Programs For The Festive Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… unless you’re an unprepared online retailer. The lead-up to the holidays is a busy period for a lot of us, but without the right strategies in place, you could be missing out on a stupendous amount of business.
While it may be annoying that Christmas commercials start appearing on our screens before we’ve had a chance to dig out our winter coats, the earlier you start thinking about your holiday strategies, the better.
Here I’ve put together a holiday checklist that you can follow to ensure you’re ahead of the curve for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday season.
1. Budgets
It goes without saying that traffic will increase around the holidays, and the same budget you had for September just isn’t going to cut it. But without a crystal ball, how can you know exactly how much budget you’re going to need?
Your biggest source of inspiration is your own data.

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