It's no secret that Google made headlines yet again in 2017 when the European Commission fined them €2.4bn last year for prioritising the Google Shopping Comparison Service ahead of other price comparison sites. Google have been asked to make things fairer for other comparison sites, and they're now delivering with a new incentive for advertisers.

As of the end of July 2018, Google is opening up their Shopping Comparison Service to more similar services with the added bonus of a 20% discount for anyone advertising on a non-Google property. This is allowing advertisers to gain a lot more traffic for their click spend and is predicted to be a huge success, with many comparison sites now taking part.

Girl Shopping Comparison Service

Sellers who are looking to place Google Shopping Ads will need to work with a Comparison Site, or CSS (Keel Over is now a CSS partner). This is a website that will collect product pricing information from multiple websites. These sites will then send customers who click on the Shopping ad on Google to the retailer's website to view and purchase the product.

The Comparison Service will act very similarly to how Google runs their shopping service now, and place a bid to appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs) on the behalf of the seller. Only a Shopping Comparison Service will be able to place the Shopping ads, but the good news for retailers is that you can work with multiple sites who will be offered the same opportunities.

A Shopping Comparison Site has to become certified by Google in order to be allowed to operate as a Comparison Shopping Partner. Details on how they go about this can be found here  It is only once the CSS has been authorised that they are able to offer the 20% discount on clicks. This will give confidence to the online retailers that their click spend is in good hands with their chosen CSS.

So, what do you need to do to get started?

Firstly, you will need to sign up with a CSS partner. Ideally, you will pick a partner that has the time and knowledge to advise your business with the correct strategy and optimisation process. Once chosen, the CSS will create a new Merchant Centre account for your product feed and run your Shopping campaigns and strategy for you. Many retailers will already have a Google Merchant centre set up, this can be transferred over to the CSS account so there will be no need to start from scratch.

Google Shopping is one of the most lucrative platforms for ecommerce sites to advertise on, however advertising has become more of a challenge in recent history with a rise in competition across most industries. A 20% discount on clicks for Shopping ads will be a fantastic bonus for many online stores, particularly for those that are less well known and with a limited budget.

As Keel Over have been working with Google Shopping since it first became a paid service, we are in a fantastic position to host your Shopping Comparison Service advertising! Get in touch now for a free PPC auditor proposal!