Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu July 12 2012 08:32:06

Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

By: Ina Steiner

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Online merchants who don't wish to participate in Google Shopping once it becomes a paid program in the fall may be tempted to stop sending their product feed to the Google Merchant Center. But many will certainly reconsider once they hear about Google's newest offering for online retailers called Search As You Type.

Google is allowing online merchants to use its product-search feature on their ecommerce websites. The catch? Merchants must be advertising through Google AdWords (so the program is "free" as long as you're already sending ad money Google's way), and right now the program is limited to the U.S. If you have a large volume of searches conducted on your website (25 million+ searches annually), you'll have to pay.

While the program give site-owners powerful functionality and the likelihood of increased conversions (see today's news story for details about Google Search As You Type), it doesn't directly bring more traffic to their sites. It's up to the merchant to get the shopper to the site. Once there, Google promises a better search - therefore, a better shopping experience, which theoretically leads to happy buyers returning to your site.



While the program kicks off in pilot mode with two large merchants, Google Shopping's Jennifer Dulski was emphatic when I spoke to her yesterday that small merchants as well as large merchants would be included as the pilot expands over the course of the next several months.

Skeptics would say Google is throwing a bone to online sellers after it recently announced it would be taking away free listings in Google Shopping. Cynics would say the new search program is a lead-generator for Google Commerce Search and a way for it to continue gather shopping data across the web. And of course, it benefits Google's AdWords advertising program, since that's a requirement of Search As You Type.

But merchants have already proven they will give up data in return for free services, something Google has become expert in with Google Analytics, its new Google Trusted Stores and its previously free Google Product Search, for example.

A look at Google Webmaster tools shows the company knows a lot about your site just from the searches conducted on Google.com. What do you think? Will you trade the possibility for increased sales for giving Google access to your product feed and search data?




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Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 12 10:31:20 2012

Ummm. Did anyone see the 25,000 price tag for this "service".

Give me a break!  This is just ANOTHER Scheme from google to try and squeeze money out of the little guy.  The can dress it up as:oh now you can be like the "BIG GUYS" but I am NOT taking their bait.

Oh and I belevie I read that the 25K includes only so many searches and after that it is MORE money.

Seriously, does ANYONE really trust google enough to thik tht they do not send in their OWN PEOPLE to do the searches to ensure you end up going way over and send you a HUGE bill.

I certainly do not.

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Jul 12 10:57:17 2012

Hmmm. I'll pass, thanks.

These things don't exist in a vacuum. Google will be collecting data on search terms AND destination pages... and perhaps what the customer does once they arrive there.

That's more information than I'm willing to share. And these days, I'm not really in a trusting mood when it comes to Google.

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 12 11:49:18 2012

Amen Annie!

I do not trust ANY of them. Not ebay, google, Bonanza etc.

They have ALL proven to be UNTRUST WORTHY, some much more than others a the moment.

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jul 12 15:29:21 2012

Looks like everyone didn't embrace their new "pay to play" scheme with open arms so this is supposed to be a "look what we are doing for you" olive branch.  It's like being invited to a party but then being asked to pay a cover charge.

Companies have become so incredibly greedy...........how much money is enough money for these C-Level executives?

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 12 16:53:47 2012

We all need to stop saying "google it" and start saying "BING IT"

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

by: Skeptic This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 12 23:02:08 2012

Lolololol!  You've got to hand it to Google: what a brilliant way to sell you what's essentially data mining so that they can help give search tips to other adwords subscribers as well as their buddies eBay and Amazon!  Forgive me if I fail to see how this new "service" benefits the vendor.

What with their content stealing website scrapes (think TripAdvisor, et al) and their blatant favoritism towards eBay and Amazon (think 90% of products returned at the top of the page when you conduct an organic search) and their "Do No Evil" slogan, they have shown that they have absolutely no integrity.

Google, Amazon & eBay are not your friends, folks.

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 12 23:39:50 2012

They are dreaming in La-La land. There is no way for a small merchant to be able to afford their Adwords campaign. I guess their definition of a "small merchant" is quite different than ours. We are probably considered a miniscule merchant, not worthy of any consdieration at all. We don't exist as far as Google is concerned.

Another eBayesque move where we are considered just "noise" to be ignored.

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 13 00:20:51 2012

I agree lets start 'binging' it! Pass it on.

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

by: unconvinced This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 13 02:08:26 2012

How about trying to get more people to realize they're just another product as far as the big boys are concerned.  Safer - till they get popular enough to buy out - to use the private search engines that set no cookies - like ixquick.com or duckduckgo.com.  Bing has been heavy into paid advertising from day one, too.  

Don't forget Amazon in your list of huge companies not to be trusted - they all want to rule the world.

And yeah, agree - Google just wants to plant their search on everyone's sites so they have access to all the data.  I think not.

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 15 17:13:46 2012

I don't care much what they do....I've been uploading my feed to Google for years now....very little traffic comes directly from them.  So, I don't care what they offer...no service...no money!

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

This user has validated their user name. by: Doc

Sun Jul 15 21:49:23 2012

Bing was coming on strong but it looks like they dropped the ball big time. Yahoo has restarted their crawler,  probably because they got tired of relying on Bing to provide search results.

If I'm looking for something I start with a Google web search. Usually Amazon is first, then other places. Rarley does eBay show up on the 1st page.

As for the Google crawlers, there is the Google bot,  that's usually followed by their rating bot. With their panda rollout Google is trying to force smaller sites to purchase advertising. Google is just greedy preying on everyone they can, just like eBay!  

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

by: DonC This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 16 11:59:29 2012

My experience with Google:

The majority of our traffic comes from organic search via Google.

AdWords are a break even proposition.

We have not been successful in using Google Analytics at our Yahoo store.

From my perspective the "small" online business gets the best results from SEO.  I use SEO Doctor. It's free and seems to work well.

Don

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

by: unconvinced This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 17 01:25:51 2012

DonC, what are you going to do when Google stops any for-sale items from showing up in organic search?  I hear that's their plan - force all for-sale over to the products area.

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

This user has validated their user name. by: TheUglySweaterShop

Wed Jul 18 18:30:09 2012

I would imagine if Google stopped listing items for sale in organic search it would be pretty empty there!

I can't speak for Don, but I know if that did happen, I would still gain traffic from my blog (still would be indexed in Google), from Facebook, from Twitter, from Pinterest, from Wanelo, etc. You know, the way small sellers already are getting a LOT of their traffic.

Perminate Link for Given up on Google? Not So Fast!   Given up on Google? Not So Fast!

by: bikonator This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Jul 19 20:17:23 2012

All weapons retailers need to consider slickguns.com product feed. They specialize in guns and ammo price comparing.  



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