Three Recent Changes to Google Shopping You Should Know About

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As you’ll know if you read our last blog post, Google has removed right hand side ads from Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This suggests that Google are shifting the focus onto Shopping, with more traffic, tests and features. This week we’ve put together a list of three other recent changes you should be aware of.

1. Product Listing Ads getting more third party traffic

‘Adsense for Shopping’ was announced in 2014 to allow a number of e-commerce sites to show Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on their websites.

More recently, Google’s Search Partners have seen huge spikes in their share of PLA traffic in Q3 of 2015, suggesting that the partnership will continue to grow into 2016.

2. Expandable and scrollable PLA tests

In January Google began testing a new interface, which includes an arrow icon in the bottom right hand corner of the product display panel. This means that PLAs take up the majority of space above the SERPs.

This month Google has been testing scrollable PLAs, potentially causing fluctuations in traffic for some online businesses.

3. Ranked PLAs for key searches

Since 2014 Google has been testing a new PLA ranking system, which they are starting to implement. Essentially, when a user types ‘best’ in their search query, Google Shopping results will be ranked, so only the top-rated products are selected to participate in the auction to be displayed for these queries. Once they’re in this auction, the products then compete against each other for ad position, which, in a nutshell, is how the rankings are worked out.

This makes reviews very important for sites that are ranking for queries like ‘best’ or ‘top’.

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