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Should Price Aggregation Sites Be Worried About Google Product Listing Ads?

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When Google launches some new service, product or feature most netizens are happy as more often than not, it comes to them free of cost.

However, with every new launch that Google makes, there are bunch online businesses that start becoming redundant (It also works exactly opposite when Google closes down some of its features as well!).

Take example of their newest feature launch – Google Product Listing Ads. This new (Adwords) feature launched by Google is part of its endeavor to make their search more helpful, so that users can find exactly what they want with minimum of clicks.

Lets look at what Google Product Listing As actually does – Here is how Google explains it on their site:

Product Listing Ads are search ads that include richer product information, such as product image, price, and merchant name, without requiring additional keywords or ad text. Whenever a user enters a search query relevant to an item in your Google Merchant Center account, Google will automatically show the most relevant products along with the associated image, price and product name.

So, for example if you search “Samsung Galaxy S4” in Google search, here is what you will see

Samsung Galaxy 4 search page

On the right hand side, the Google search page will list the product listings which include image of the product, its price and the vendor that is selling.

Similar to Price Aggregation Sites? Should They Be Worried?

Now, doesn’t this look very similar to a product page on most Product price Aggregation sites?

Should they be worried that these Google “product listings” will erode their traffic?

I do not think so – Though, it looks quite similar there are some fundamental differences that need to be understood.

First and foremost – Even though they may look like simple product listings, they are essentially paid advertisements. Only the vendors who have participated in the Google Adwords program will show up.

So, for example, in the screenshot shown above, product listings from only Flipkart and Naaptol are showing up for Samsung Galaxy 4, because they seem to be the only ones participated in program for that product.

Second and most importantly – These ads may actually be misleading just to garner clicks. After all, they are ad listings put up by the vendor themselves.

On the other hand, Price aggregation sites truly reflect the real prices because they are either listed using product site APIs, or scraping or are manually done. Also, as price aggregation sites work on affiliate model, they try to bring you the best rates available from wide array of sites.

Conclusion

In my view, Product price aggregation sites should not be too worried at this point of time. However, it is equally true that these listings may affect their traffic to a certain extent.

Now having said that, it would become very interesting, if Google actually decides to crawl these E-Commerce site content and start showing those prices as part of product listings. That will surely get the sites based on aggregation model very very worried.

What’s your take?

  1. David Rothwell says

    Great question Arun, to which I believe the answer is most definitely – YES.

    Read why here:

    http://www.davidnrothwell.com/google-merchant-center-opens-accounts-india-product-listing-ads-9904/

  2. Anuj Sharma says

    Good that you picked up this topic! Product listing by Google is more over a stint to boost up its ad revenue by routing users to Google ads rather than crisp genuine information pages. Google search, rather than lsting more number of blogs and websites indirectly leading to google ads, now would be converted into direct Google search first page endorsing those Ads. wise improvisation to the ad channel.

  3. Vivek says

    A sensible article Arun. A point to note here is the price comparison website shows the number of days for delivery, Whether COD is available , shipping cost etc., But, considering it from user’s point of view and UX perspective, they have a high urge to click on the images asap, especially when they search in google. This will contribute at least 20-25% reduction in traffic for price comparison websites, I believe.

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