(718) 690-7302 [email protected] Google AdWords, Google Shopping, Facebook Ads Management

Comparison Shopping

Google Vs. Amazon, How Do They Compare?


The battle between Google Shopping and Amazon has certainly reached its apex points over the past few years. Off the top of the head, you might think that Amazon is number one and bows to no one.

However, Google has spruced up and refined its shopping platform over the years to be incredibly competent and simple to use. With its numerous revamps, Google Shopping has become one of the top product ad platforms, in many cases outshining even Amazon.

How Are They Similar?

Both giants collect a huge amount of data about their shoppers and use the data to keep customer interests in mind. Google and Amazon rely on data mining and ad placement to target specific product searches to customers.

On the multimedia side, both competitors have introduced products into nearly all media platforms. Google Chromecast vs. Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Play vs. Amazon Kindle, and Google Express vs. Amazon Prime.

Companies and products have the ability to utilize an extensive ad campaign on both platforms, just with different processes.


How Do They Differ?

When it comes to functionality and implementation, the two platforms offer very different services. Google Shopping centers its product campaigns on PLA’s or product listing ads. These product listing ads are the driving force behind Google Shopping, which is managed within Google AdWords.

Bids are placed on the products themselves and Google applies the best keywords based on the bids. Since Amazon has discontinued its use of product ads, Google reigns supreme in retaining product search conversions.

In the world of paid advertising, Google PLA’s take up a majority of top 20% retail ad spend with Macy’s taking the top at $3,000,000 in the first quarter of 2015.

Much of the reason retailers prefer Google Shopping is due to the fact that PLA’s lead directly to retail websites. With Amazon, the products go through the Amazon platform which can benefit from Amazon’s search statistics at the cost of not being able to differentiate themselves from the clutter.

As well, companies forgo the opportunity of developing more sales leads from customers by directing customers to another site besides their own.


Why Not Just Use Amazon?

With Google Shopping, retailers have the ability to direct people to their own site. This means retailers:

  • Can track where users come and go from and can track customer flow in Google Analytics and Adwords
  • Retain customer data and can account for each customer who buys a product
  • Learn about each customer as an individual
  • Follow up on leads driven by each customer and gather key info like email addresses and other metadata

Once a retailer is on the Amazon marketplace, the retailer itself in essence becomes another vendor of Amazon, with no ability to retain any customer info or accumulate key customer data to follow up on leads.

While Amazon commands a strong percentage of those who purchase products directly from a platform, Google commands 64% of searches according to a 2015 study provided by comScore.

A key analysis taken from this study is the cannibalization of product search for Amazon. While many people go to Amazon to purchase directly, Google still gets a piece of the pie from links clicked.

Key Breakdowns

  • Amazon benefits from top-of-the-list search postings for products in Google Search.
  • Amazon and Google are closer than you might think in search volume, with Google ahead on a year-to-year basis. Marketing Analytics firm Jumpshot snapshotted 46% of product searches were on Amazon in 2015 vs Google’s 54%. This test was done from July 1st, 2015 to September 2015 with a population of around 120,000.
  • Google Shopping utilizes its own AdWords platform which offers direct SEO functions related to product posting.

While both platforms offer access to a huge and diverse audience, the means in which they do so differ. Most top businesses place most of their resources in buying Google PLA’s which offer more flexible functionality and a more robust system.

While Amazon has the unique ability to introduce users to a huge array of products on one platform, Google Shopping uses Google’s vast infrastructure to target products effortlessly amongst enormous amounts of users.

Dimensional Weight & Google Shopping: How Does It Affect You?

UPS and FedEx have just both adjusted their shipping fees to work off of Dimensional Weight. Previously, they were just charging you based on the weight of the package. With the new change in effect, you’ll be paying for weight and volume.


How does this affect me?

This change sounds like it won’t affect you outside of shipping fees, however it will affect any online retailers that sells on Google Shopping and uses the Merchant Center “Carrier-Calculated” shipping options.

Google just sent out a notice regarding Dimensional Weight in Merchant Center, the full email is printed below.

In a nutshell, if you’re using Carrier-Calculated shipping rates in Merchant Center, you’re left with several options once it goes into effect on April 6th 2015.

  1. Add three new columns to the datafeed for package length, width and height
  2. Switch to a new shipping structure on your site that doesn’t use Carrier Calculated rates (i.e. Flat Rate, Percentage of Order Total etc…)
  3. Do nothing and hope the account is not suspended

Thankfully, there is time to implement these changes, but you’ll want to make sure you figure out the best solution before the deadline.

Important: You May Need to Add Shipping Package Size to Your Google Shopping Product Data


We’re reaching out today to let you know about changes to the carrier-calculated shipping feature in Google Merchant Center.

In the US, major shipping carriers recently began calculating many of their shipping rates based on the dimensional weight of a package rather than just the actual weight. These dimensional weight rates take into account the weight, height, length, and width of a package.

Today, we’re introducing support for dimensional weight shipping rates for carrier-calculated shipping methods in Google Merchant Center. This update lets you define the dimensions of your packages used for shipping taking into account the length, width, and height of a package — in addition to the weight you already provide. We’ve created three new attributes that merchants can add to their product data to provide the dimensions of shipping packages for an item: ‘shipping length’, ‘shipping width’, and ‘shipping height’.

In a recent review of your Google Merchant Center account (Account ID XXXXXXXXX), we have determined that you have specified one or more carrier-calculated shipping methods in your account. Merchants who have active carrier-calculated methods for the US may need to provide these three additional attributes in their product data in order to allow accurate shipping rate calculations based on dimensional weight. If you’re unsure if your carrier is using a new dimensional weight rate model, or whether your shipments will be impacted, please verify directly with your shipping carrier.

If your carrier has changed the way they calculate shipping rates, you will need to add the following three attributes for items utilizing carrier-calculated shipping rates based on dimensional weight:

‘shipping length’ – Length of the item for shipping.

‘shipping width’ – Width of the item for shipping.

‘shipping height’ – Height of the item for shipping.

Starting April 6th, 2015, we’ll begin verifying that merchants using carrier-calculated rates are providing accurate rates by including these new attributes when the shipping rate is calculated based on dimensional weight. If merchants do not add these new attributes, we’ll continue to calculate the shipping rate based on weight only, which could lead to inaccurate shipping rate calculations. Accounts with inaccurate shipping rates will be suspended from Google Shopping. [Emphasis Added]

To learn more about using the new dimensional shipping attributes, please visit the Products Feed Specification at https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494 and select ‘United States’ at the top.

It’s worth mentioning that if your website will still lookup rates by weight only, you should be safe doing the same on Google Shopping without getting suspended.

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Does Google Rank PLAs Differently On Google Shopping & Standard SERPs?

Google Product Listing Ads

Recently, Hannah, a Google AdWords community manager posted the following question on the AdWords discussion forum:

Is the ranking of PLAs on Google search different to the ranking of products on Google shopping pages?

This question was answered by Kat, a Google employee:

In some circumstances, you may notice differences in how your products are serving or ranking on Google with PLAs versus Google Shopping. For example, you may see your items showing/ranking on the former but not showing/ranking on the latter. This behavior may happen, and could vary, based on several factors. Reasons why this may happen can include:

  • The available real estate is different between the two properties. On Google.com, there is less space to show PLAs while the Shopping property has more space.
  • The auction dynamics can be different between the two properties and, as such, the results may also be slightly different.
  • For some queries, Google Shopping may present results via a catalog (specific product page) instead of individual merchant listings while Google does not display these catalogs.

Improvements are continually being made to the system and, over time, these improvements can help further unify the results between the two properties but, on occasion, differences between results may be seen.

Read More →

Google AdWords Announces New Shopping Campaign Type

Ever since Google Shopping transitioned to a paid model, Google has been releasing new features constantly. Yesterday, they announced that a new campaign type will be rolled out called Shopping Campaigns.

The new campaign type will give you the ability to better manage your campaigns from a product and category level. Some of the new features are:

  • Retail-centric way to manage your products
  • Advanced reporting to measure product performance
  • Competitive data to size your opportunity

Read More →






Shopping campaigns are currently available to a limited number of advertisers. It will be rolling out gradually in the US, with full global availability by early next year. API support will come in 2014 as well.

How do I get access? Fill out this form to request early access.

Shopping.com Holiday Pricing Update Goes Into Effect November 1st


As we get closer to the holiday season crunch, the comparison shopping engines are getting ready to raise their prices. A few days ago NexTag lead the charge with their new tiered pricing and holiday pricing surcharge. Today, eBay Commerce Network (Shopping.com) sent out the following notice:

Dear Merchant,

With the holiday season approaching, we anticipate increased shopping activity across many categories. eBay Commerce Network will implement the following holiday pricing adjustment and temporarily adjust CPC rates only in select categories from November 1st to December 31st, 2013.

  • 79% of the rate card will reaming flat (no rate increase)
  • 6 categories will increase by 15%
  • 48 categories will increase by 25%
  • View updated Holiday Rate Card

We will automatically adjust your CPC bids during the holiday pricing period; therefore no action is required on your part. On January 1st, 2014 we will readjust your bids to your pre-holiday amounts.

While some rates are increasing, most campaigns will not see a significant shift in cost of sale as we will continue to leverage Value-based-pricing, our network management tool, to sustain your ROI goals. This allows us to more prominently advertise your offers on the highest performing publishers to increase sales.

We recognize this is an exciting time of year for your business and we look forward to our continued partnership.

Kristy Troup
Director, US Business
eBay Commerce Network

NexTag Implements Tiered Pricing By Category

NexTag sent out a notification this weekend announcing a few changes to their pricing structure. Effective October 14th, 2013 the CPC rate will be based on the actual price of the item. See the tiered chart below for more information.

In addition, the annual holiday surcharge will go into effect at the same time. The holiday surcharge will be in effect from 12 AM Pacific on Monday October 14, 2013 through 11:59 PM Pacific on Sunday January 5, 2014.

Read the full email from NexTag below:

Dear Valued Merchant,

As the marketplace evolves, we continuously adjust our advertising approach to help maximize traffic to your site. As we enter into the busiest shopping time of the year, we wanted to inform you of two important changes to our pricing structure to help you optimize your traffic opportunity for this holiday and beyond.

  1. Tiered pricing by category: To be more responsive to your needs, we’re introducing a tiered pricing model that helps align CPC pricing with merchant cost of sale. Essentially, you’ll pay less for clicks on lower-priced products and more for higher-priced products. This change will go into effect on October 14, 2013 and will continue unless the rate card is subsequently modified. The new tiered pricing is shown in our Rate Card.We believe this change will improve your overall COS for lower-priced products and ultimately allow you to list more products. With this change, we’ll be able to bid more for valuable traffic, and so will you.
  2. Annual holiday surcharge: At the same time as our tiered pricing update, we will also rollout our holiday rates to help deliver expected traffic volume during the most critical time of year for traffic and sales. The surcharge for each category is shown in our Rate Card. The surcharge will be in effect from 12 AM Pacific on Monday October 14, 2013 through 11:59 PM Pacific on Sunday January 5, 2014.

You do not need to take any action for these changes to take effect. If you do not agree to the changes described above, you must suspend or terminate your account. Termination or suspension of your account will be effective two (2) business days after receipt by Nextag. Please contact your Account Manager or email our Seller Support team should you have any questions regarding these changes.

According to CPC Strategy, we remain the #1 independent comparison shopping platform for driving high volume and quality traffic. Wize Commerce is committed to helping merchants achieve significant volume of traffic and expected performance goals. We now offer a number of sites to maximize opportunity in the marketplace Nextag (with the widest selection of products) to Price Machine (for price-conscious shoppers) to Wize (with expert product recommendations) to ApplianceShopping (for specs-heavy product shopping).
We thank you for your business and look forward to a busy and productive holiday season!

Best wishes,
The Nextag team

Important Note:
For products where you currently are bidding the minimum: All minimum bids on active products will automatically be adjusted up or down to the new minimum rates for the appropriate tier on October 14, 2013. Should you wish to bid above the new minimum rates for products where you currently bid the minimum, you will need to manually adjust your bids.

For products where you currently are bidding above the minimum: Bids that are above the current minimum but below the new minimum will be automatically adjusted to the new minimum bid for the appropriate tier. For price tiers where the new minimum CPCs are equal to or higher than the current minimum and your current bid is above the new minimum rate, your bid will not be changed. For price tiers where the new minimum CPCs are lower than the current minimum and your current non-minimum bid is above the new minimum rate, your bid will be automatically reduced to the new minimum CPC.

The holiday surcharge will also be automatically applied. The price tier changes described above will be applied first, and the holiday surcharge will be applied to the adjusted, price tiered bids. The surcharge applies to your total CPC, which includes standard CPC plus any CPC increases you have selected for the Logo or Marketing Message programs.

Bing Shopping Launches Product Ads, Rich Captions & More

Bing announced some changes to Bing Shopping last week. First of all, they are now calling it Bing Product Search.

Integrated Results

One of the main changes is that you no longer need to click on the “Shopping” tab. Bing will automatically show product lists based on the intent of the search query. So if they think you are looking for a product, they will push out the info for you.

Product Snapshots

They are also bringing Snapshot technology to expose more of the details you need for a specific product, like specs and reviews, to make a decision without having to click to another page.


Rich Captions

Rich Captions is a new free service which gives you an opportunity to provide information about your products directly on the Bing search result pages. Your product’s price and availability may be displayed below the search algorithmic results linking to your product’s page. This new experience will begin to roll out in the next month. To participate, you will need to submit your product catalog via a feed. If you are a Product Ads beta customer, this feed is the same as your Product Ads feed or you can create a new one.


Product Ads

Like Google AdWords Product Listing Ads, Bing Product Ads will allow you to promote products directly on the search results page. The ads are delivered on both Bing and Yahoo! search result pages and will allow advertisers to include product details such as image, price and description within their ads, delivering key information about the product offers that will help users make informed decisions before clicking on the ads (which improves the conversions). This program is currently in Beta, so keep your eyes open for your invitation to join the program.


Google Shopping Unique Product Identifier Requirements Deadline On September 16th

Google announced that they will be enforcing the new unique product identifier requirements to continue improving data quality on Google Shopping. See the full reminder from this afternoon:

A few weeks ago, we announced that we’ll soon be enforcing the new unique product identifier requirements to continue improving data quality on Google Shopping. These new specifications help us serve better results to users while creating more opportunities for merchants. We highly recommend making the necessary changes to comply with data quality requirements, as better data quality is a key lever to improve the performance of your Product Listing Ads campaigns.

Beginning on September 16th, all previously exempt accounts in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom as well as all accounts in Australia, Brazil, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Japan, and the Netherlands will begin to be subject to these new requirements. By November, all violating offers will be rejected and will not be served through Product Listing Ads. These new feed specifications are already being enforced for all accounts in the United States and non-exempt accounts in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

In September, we’ll also begin enforcing correct use of the ‘identifier exists’ attribute. To avoid disruption to your traffic, please ensure that you’re only submitting ‘identifier exists’ with a value of FALSE in categories where unique product identifiers are required but no such identifier exists for an item (for example, custom goods). Please review the latest product feed specification to learn more.

To help merchants with this transition, we’ll be broadcasting Google Shopping Office Hours via a Hangout on Air on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 9:30 am Pacific Time. We encourage you to join us to get advice about data feeds and unique product identifiers. If you already know what you’d like to ask, feel free to post it in the comments now. You’ll be able to submit questions during the Hangout on Air as well.

Make sure you don’t get dropped out of Google Shopping. Here’s what you need to do:

Include unique product identifiers in your data feed
  • Apparel categories: ‘brand’ is required. Additionally, for the categories listed below, you must submit at least 1 out of ‘gtin’ or ‘mpn’:
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Shoes’
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Clothing Accesories > Sunglasses’
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Handbags, Wallets & Cases > Handbags’
    • ‘Apparel & Accessories > Jewelry > Watches’
  • Media and software categories: ‘gtin’ is required
  • All other categories: at least 2 of the following 3 identifiers are required: ‘brand’, ‘gtin’, and ‘mpn’.
  • Exception: in categories where unique product identifiers are required but no such identifier exists for an item (e.g. custom goods), submit ‘identifier exists’ with a value of FALSE.

If you don’t provide the required unique product identifiers, your items may be removed from Google Shopping. For all your items, we recommend submitting all three attributes (‘brand’, ‘mpn’, and ‘gtin’) where available.

Required Product Categories

Please note that it is possible that none of your products will appear in Google Shopping if your data feed does not include the required unique product identifiers in all categories, except for custom goods.

Custom goods: Custom goods are one-of-a-kind items for which no unique product identifiers exist, like vintage goods, collectibles, art, perishables, books published before 1970, and other special items. Custom goods can be in any product category.

Category Identifiers required for each product
Media (i.e., Music, Movies, Video games) UPC, EAN, or JAN
Books ISBN (Either ISBN-10 or ISBN-13. Exceptions apply for books published before 1970.)
Apparel (outside of the Shoes, Handbags, Sunglasses, and Watches categories)* Brand
Items in the Shoes, Handbags, Sunglasses, and Watches categories Brand and at least 1 of the following 2 identifiers:

  • UPC, EAN, or JAN
  • MPN
Custom goods The ‘identifier exists’ attribute must be provided with a value of FALSE.
All other At least two of the following three identifiers:

  • UPC, EAN, or JAN
  • Brand
  • MPN

*Definition of Apparel: To see the scope of the apparel category, please visit the ‘apparel and accessories’ section of the taxonomy chart.

eBay Commerce Network (Shopping.com) Launches New Merchant Center Interface

eBay Commerce Network

eBay Commerce Network, the backend Merchant Center for Shopping.com has just launched a new interface. It looks pretty great at puts a lot of additional information right in your dashboard.

Check out the full email from eBay Commerce Network below.

Hi Partner,

We are excited to announce the launch of our new and improved Merchant Center!

We refreshed this tool with a more intuitive user experience to help you make better data-driven decisions, improved the load times, and introduced new reporting.

Your New Home Page
The new Summary page helps you stay on top of key campaign information, including your latest performance trends. Now, when you log in, you’ll have instant access to an interactive campaign dashboard displaying your performance trends.

Enhanced Reporting Platform
Our improved reporting tools provide deeper insights into your campaign, helping you analyze and optimize performance on our network. You can now utilize a visually rich reporting dashboard, with key campaign trends by day, week, or month, YoY comparisons, and more.

Sophisticated new bidding tools
We’ve developed powerful bidding tools to help you increase product exposure, drive more traffic and grow sales. You’ll benefit from a more seamless and intuitive bidding experience as well as instructive videos and tips to help you bid smarter.

For more details on commonly used features check out our Help Center.


Merchant Services
eBay Commerce Network

Commonly Used Features