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Google Shopping rollout: Ellie Edwards, MD, QUISMA, offers her tips for advertisers preparing for the changes

The international rollout for Google Shopping will begin on 13 February 2013. Here, Ellie Edwards, managing director, QUISMA, offers her take on the changes and gives her top tips for boosting the reach and relevance of your activity on Google Shopping.

Google recently added the 'Display Network' tab into the AdWords interface to make it easier for advertisers to manage their Google Display Network (GDN) campaigns. Google is now introducing another feature to manage GDN campaigns: 'flexible reach'. The new feature allows advertisers to pick targeting options for the GDN at a campaign level and an ad group level. With this new function Google hopes to enable users to target their campaigns more efficiently than was previously possible with “broad reach” and “specific reach” at campaign level.It allows users to combine and determine several targeting options for the Display Network at an ad group level – thus further harmonising them with their bid options. Once you have changed to the new function, you cannot go back to your previous settings. Not surprising given the fact that Google is planning to eventually replace broad and specific reach with flexible reach. Any new ad group will have the new option by default. The following image shows how users can activate the new feature in the AdWords interface. In the section 'networks and devices' under the 'settings' tab you will need to tick the option.The free traffic source Google Products (formerly known as 'Froogle') is set to morph into a paid for CPC model called Google Shopping early next year. Google Shopping has already been implemented in the US (on 17 October of this year) and looks like being rolled out in Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland in 2013. (Austria will be covered by the German account). Google Shopping’s roll out will start in 2013Rumours are emerging that Google is planning a final adjustment on 13 February 2013 to give online merchants the chance to adapt their campaigns. From then on, shopping queries will lead to clearly arranged results, which will be marked as sponsored ads, and will be located where currently the AdWords ads are. The gradual transition to the commercial model should be complete by the end of 2013. However, advertisers would be wise to mark 13 February 2013 in their calendars. We would also suggest they make the following preparations ahead of the changeover:
  1. Use the Product Listing Ads, which are currently available free of charge, to gain experience in product processing as well as in internal workflow management.
  2. Ensure using the best data preparation possible, since it will have significant impact on your listings’ quality and relevance.
  3. Segment the products into specific clusters: the more detailed and granular the segmentation, the lower the chances to generate unnecessary costs.
  4. Take into account the performance data, which might have already been generated in other search engines. Products that merely function as traffic generators should not be used with Google Shopping.
  5. Use product feeds for the Google Merchant centre, which is connected with Google AdWords.

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