Google Changes EU Playing Field In General Search Results

Google Changes EU Playing Field In General Search Results.

As of yesterday the 27th September 2017, Google has dramatically changed the way shopping ads are displayed in general search results, in other words the absolute top position are now auctioned equally among all marketplaces.

What does it mean? From now on other marketplaces such as google, ebay, kelkoo, shopzilla etc… will be labelled in the absolute top position and Google Shopping is a separate business.

Google Web Search Changes

This means that marketplaces will compete against each other and Google as a whole to gain a slot. Depending on the search query the slots can range from 2 to 16. With Google Shopping being a new business, it also means it has its own budget and bidding process. This could mean that if a search query or product is not profitable for Google Shopping that your product might not be eligible. Google just started this new system since yesterday, it will be interesting to see how this plays out for merchants.

With this new change, we will soon start seeing more marketplaces being listed on Google Shopping general search results, this does mean they have to follow the same policies as a merchant has to.

No reason to panic!

The changes only apply to general searches, the Google Shopping results will stay the same.

Google Shopping Results

Here are some things I would like to remind you :

  1. Currently it is only on the general web searches, not when you search on Google Shopping
  2. 3rd Party marketplaces have for years already advertised on Google Shopping, such as eBay and Etsy.
  3. Marketplaces will be competing each other and also Google shopping
  4. Marketplaces don’t have the same profit margins as individual merchants, meaning you can outbid them.
  5. These marketplaces will most likely have to pay a premium compared to normal advertisers.
  6. Marketplaces will find it allot harder to submit feeds and be inline with Google Policies.

So even if a marketplace wants to join, they will not have an easy task to make it profitable.

Regardless of the severity of the impact on your advertising efforts, it is recommend to start implementing all elements that help improve your advertising. There are 100’s of little things you can do that will help you increase ranking and generate more sales. If you combine all the little changes it will result in an overall success. This success will lead in cheaper clicks, more sales and better ranking. If you want an account review, than contact me and I’m happy to advise you what needs to be done.

If you do not know why this is happening, it is because the European commission has fined Google $2.7 billion for unfair treatment against other marketplaces. To avoid the fine Google has to level the playing field.

This new change is taking effect since 27th of September 2017 for all EU countries and Switzerland.

Don’t want to take part, competing against other marketplaces?

You can exclude yourself from driving up costs by removing yourself from the absolute top position.

Simply login to Google Merchant and go to Shopping Ads > Configuration and disable comparison shopping services

Google Merchant Comparison Shopping Services

Disabling this will only take effect on the general search results, not Google Shopping.

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