Getting Updated Google Shopping Results

After I fixed my problem with Google Shopping I decided to see how long it would take for my browser to show correct shopping results. It has been almost a week and no change in the results. Today I decided to move on. I fixed the problem on Internet Explorer by deleting browsing history(cookies). Fixing the problem on Google Chrome was a bit more challenging. Here was the setting that worked.

Settings - Clear browsing data_2012-11-05_11-56-33

Fixing the Google Shopping problem where no products show up even though the product ads are searchable

I have been battling this problem with Product Ads for some time. Our Products Ads were supposedly search-able but we could not find them using Google Shopping. We could find our products via a standard Google search and via Google Shopper on my android phone. In the last email of this continuing saga of questionable product support I saw a telephone number. Previous phone calls by our marketing guy had Google support recommending that he increase the bid amount and open the server up for Google bot searches. None of those recommendations worked but I really did not have a choice. So I called Google and they recommended that I add a default product ad extension for all products. Hmm… Here’s the steps:

  1. Bring up your product listing ads campaign, My Product Listing Ads.
  2. Click on the Ad Extensions tab.
  3. In my case the Ad Extensions area of the screen was blank, so I clicked on the New Extension button.
  4. There was only one choice for me, All products, so I selected it. Now I have one Ad Extension on my screen for all products.
  5. The person from Google said it would take about 12 hours for it to process.

This morning our products are searchable in Google Shopping from most desktops and we are back into the comparisons. I guess that a default product extension is a necessary step. See the picture below for an example.

We still have the problem where we get different search results from different browsers and laptops. My desktop using Chrome seems to be using an old version of shopping results where as my Firefox browser on the same computer retrieves current shopping results. I guess Chrome uses a cached version and will eventually catch up. Another new change for Google Shopping is that  "site:" does not work any more. It is fascinating that Bing and Google have had so many problems with shopping search engines.

Campaign Management_2012-10-30_10-59-37a

Comparison Shopping Engines: Want to Compete with Amazon? Start Offering Remarkable Content

Here is a great post by Trinity Hartman, Managing Editor of Content Ping that argues that the best way to compete with Amazon is with great content and offers a few pointers on how to improve the content.

If CSEs want to compete with Amazon as places where online shoppers go to discover products and compare prices, they’ll need to improve their content.

Making Great Content Work

Here’s my advice to CSEs on how they can become go-to sites for product discovery and research:

  1. Obtain outstanding product descriptions
  2. Make room at the product page level for enhanced content (lifestyle images, video, 3D images, magnification, buying guides, etc.)
  3. Pay attention to product page design
  4. Include more consumer-generated content (product reviews) 

Comparison Shopping Engines: Want to Compete with Amazon? Start Offering Remarkable Content
CPC_Andrew
Fri, 28 Sep 2012 15:13:06 GMT

Amazon to Not Pay For Google Shopping Listings

Tien Nguyen wrote a nice article, Amazon to Not Pay For Google Shopping Listings, in which he said:

In all it’s good news for retailers, large or small to not have to compete with Amazon for eyeballs on their products, similar to an MLB team learning that the high budgeted Yankees are bowing out of the season. Since Google Shopping Ads’ costs will be determined by the market, similar to Adwords (which interestingly enough Amazon is still on), one less high spender should in theory lower costs and increase visiblity for the rest.

On one hand I agree with him that it is good to not be competing with Amazon in Google Shopping. Lower ad costs will be good, too. At one time it seemed that every time I looked at a Google Shopping price comparison Amazon was at the top of the list. In recent months I found more and more instances in which Amazon was not the low cost price leader. The bad news is that even when we were the price leader, we were not getting either the clicks or the conversions.

Our marketing guy is pretty skeptical about Google Shopping Ads. Our trial run with Google Shopping ended with terrible conversion rates compared to Google Adwords. We are getting a better bang for our advertising buck with Google Adwords.  Part of the problem is that Google Shopping and Adwords are competing against each other for the same sale rather than being complimentary or additive. When I look at the potential for this channel, I am pretty dismayed. Google Shopping has the most comprehensive comparison shopping list out there and we are getting about the same sales from Google Shopping as we are getting from Shopzilla.  Our Nextag sales are even better. I don’t get it.

Google Shopping Problems

We finally gave up on Google Product Ads this week. We get a lot more traffic from Google Shopping than from the Product Ads so it made sense to turn Product Ads off until Google can get their act together. Our problems with Google Shopping seems to have started on June 28th when our search clicks fell off to almost nothing.  Despite all of our products showing available for Product Search only 934 products could be found using Google Shopping. We tried briefly to try and make our feed work for both Product Ads and Product Search but the progress was too little and too slow. So we unchecked the Product Ads box on the advanced feed settings and submitted the feed again. The disapproved Product Ads is zero and the products we can find using a generic Google Shopping search has climbed from 4390 to 5510 and our search clicks are back to where they were before this mess. This whole mess could have been avoided with some good diagnostic messages in Merchant Center and some decent customer support.

Dashboard_2012-07-09_16-31-12

Google Shopping is not listing products if the product-ads or product search is disapproved

In the Merchant Center Troubleshooting group Celebird said this in response to the question Google Product Ads Disapproved but Product Search Approved:

for a u.s. feed the two policies have now been combined —
if product-ads is disapproved the items will not be listed;
if product-search is disapproved the items will not be listed.

Although I have not seen this confirmed in any Google communication, it sure looks like this is what is happening. The big problem is that we do not know why our Product Ads are being disapproved. It is hard to fix a problem without an error report. Here is my previous post on this problem, Google Shopping Fail? Webmasters Report – CPC Strategy .

Google Shopping Fail? Webmasters Report – CPC Strategy

Andrew posted this article on random occasions Google has denied the Google Shopping ads for retailers that abide by all rules. Since I do not have a Facebook ID I will make my comments here.

We noticed a problem last week and it was more severe than Product Ads being disapproved. Only the products with "approved" Product Ads were actually searchable in Google Shopping. Only 934 of our 6652 products could be found using a generic search in Google Shopping despite the Merchant Center saying that all of the products were searchable. Removing the products from Product Ads seems to have fixed the problem.

Here is part of Andrew’s article.

A few hours ago we received word that on random occasions Google has denied the Google Shopping ads for retailers that abide by all rules. These retailers were given no notice on why their Google Shopping ads were disapproved, just a nasty looking graph in the Google Merchant Center:

Google Shopping Fail? Webmasters Report – CPC Strategy