Google Shopping

What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping in the early 2000s was popular by the names Google Product Search, Google Products, and Froogle. Froogle was a free product listing and price comparison service where users could discover various products from across the vendors, sort them and make a purchase. A new name was given to Froogle in 2012 and it is now called Google Shopping. It no longer is a free service, advertisers have to pay for their products to be listed down. Google also shows products in the search results.

google shopping
Google shopping ads/ product listing ads with rich images and relevant information for search query semi-formal blazer.

How does Google Shopping work?

Google AdWords and Google Merchant Center power Google Shopping. AdWords hosts the bidding and advertising aspects and Merchant Center the inventory of an advertisers product feed. Even though Google Shopping ads serve a similar purpose as Google Text ads from AdWords, they have some significant differences. For one thing, unlike text ads, Google solely determines when a shopping ad/product listing ad is to be shown. To determine which all shopping/product listings ads would appear in the search, Google considers the advertisers Cost-Per-Click bid, product feed, and user search query.

A new term we come across in shopping ads is product feed. A product feed is a spreadsheet or compilation of data of an advertisers products that contains details like product name, image, unique id, description and attributes in a format that is easily readable by Google. Product feed has to regularly updated and fed to Google using Merchant Center. A product feed is very vital for the success of a Google shopping campaign.

And setting up shopping/product listing ads is a little different than text ads, but it is given. Easy step-by-step guide talks in detail on how to set up Google Merchant Center.

Three pillars of Google Shopping –

  1. Feed creation – Product feed is how you tell Google whats in your bag. A wholesome feed that is up to date helps Google help users find relevant products.
  2. Bidding –  Products are the basis for bidding in shopping ads, and bidding happens at product group level. And, bidding works the same like for text ads, but to plan a bidding strategy for shopping, one needs an in-depth understanding of the structure of Google Shopping as a whole.
  3. Optimization – Enhanced analytics is a key advantage of Google Shopping over its predecessors. Tracking granular data performance is possible now. This data is used for optimizing shopping campaigns.

This is just an introductory article to Shopping by Google. We have spread feed creation, bidding strategies, Single Product Ad Groups and more shopping ads related topics across different blogs to ease the flow of information.


CEO and co founder of AdNabu. Exploring the intersection of data and marketing