Are Google Testing Google Shopping Results Positioning?
I’ve been saying for a while now businesses can’t take organic search results for granted, especially placement on the first page. In everyone’s eyes the first page is premium screen real estate. Therefore it makes sense Google is constantly looking at ways to maximise the revenue from this space.
No longer can be you bet being number 1 will give you the same steady stream of visitors week in week out: The structure of the first page is constantly being reworked by Google. The impact of these initiatives is two-fold. First it’s getting harder for searchers to distinguish advertisements from organic rankings. Plus the organic rankings are getting pushed further down the page.
When Google begins testing new initiatives, these tend to be seen by only a few searchers for a few: for different queries. The carousel, for example, drawing on Knowledge Graph, returns local results in a left to right display at the very top of the first page of results, replacing local listings. The searches impacted by this development included restaurants, hospitality, some sports and travel queries. Even today, this development is not universal, so searchers continue to see different things in different parts of the world.
However it’s now been reported that shopping ads – product listing ads are now appearing in the carousel for some searches, in some parts of the world rather than on the right or underneath the ads at the top of the serps . Here in the UK, if you type ‘new laptop’ into Google then a number of paid shopping ads appear above the organic results with the traditional Adwords advertisements relegated to the right hand column. The picture-led product listings have ‘Shop for new laptop on Google’ above them and ‘Sponsored’ in the right hand corner however some searchers may not spot the difference between these and organic results.
It appears to be the case that product /shopping ads are going to be given premium placement. For some time now, it has been getting harder to distinguish ads from the organic listings. To me, the shopping channel advertisements are more recognisable as Ads but it’s difficult for industry professionals to be objective. I do wonder however if this development is going to come at a price for advertisers.
There has been no official word from Google on how it intends to roll this out but an announcement is likely very soon as it’s expected the shopping carousel will go live imminently.
You can bet the introduction of the paid shopping carousel won’t be the end of changes to the first page of the serps; just one reason why it’s essential to diversify your marketing channels whether you sell products or not.