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Optimizing Your Item Listings for Google Shopping

Google Shopping is now a Paid Auction format. This change has promoted many questions from our shop owners which we address in this article.

What does Paid Auction format mean? In the past Google Shopping allowed websites to submit feeds of shop items for display in Google Shopping for free. Now websites must set a budget and bid against other product vendors for inclusion in Google Shopping search return. How much a vendor has allocated in their budget for items to be listed and how this compares with other vendors bidding for the same slots determine if, when, and how many items will show up in a search return for a given keyword or keyword phrases.

How does the bidding for a particular category or keywords work?

The vendor paying the most for items fitting a specific criteria will have the most items listed, followed by the next highest bidder, etc.

If a vendor wins a bid for placement how many of their items are displayed in a search return?

Even if a vendor wins a bid not all of the items the vendor submitted that meet the criteria for placement for a specific keyword or keyword sets are displayed in a search return for these items. Only a percentage of qualifying items are chosen for display based on the vendors budgeted daily amount. A Google shopping program randomly determines which of these items will be displayed and how many.

How often does Google Shopping display winning bids during the day?

This is also determined by the vendors daily budget allowance. Vendor bids are recalculated and the number of items and which items changes over the course of the day based on the vendors budgeted allowance. The point of spreading it over the course of the day is so the vendor does not deplete the dollars they have budgeted for a given day all at one time.

Does Ruby Lane submit daily item feeds to Google Shopping?

Yes, Ruby Lane submits all items listed on the site to Google Shopping daily.

Can Google Shopping reject items listed in the feed and not include them in Google Shopping?

Yes, Google and GS may reject items submitted in the daily feed. The primary reasons an item may be rejected are:

1. Item Attributes – As we have mentioned before, please make sure that you have completed the attribute fields for all items that require them. If not, GS will not accept them.

2. Relevant Data in Descriptions - Only include relevant data that describes the item. Superfluous information is frowned upon by Google such as names of other makers of the same type of items, this falls under the category of spamming.

3. Shipping Information in Titles & Descriptions - If you include any shipping information within the item description or item title you will need to remove it.

4. Symbols, spaces and punctuation, matter -- generally, use only plain text in your titles and descriptions. For example, symbols such as #, " ", !, ?, and multiple dots ... can determine if your item is accepted by Google or GS. Spaces, dashes - and single quote marks ' ' are allowed.

5. Pre-set Domestic & International Shipping - GS requires each item to include Set Shipping information, this includes International Shipments. If you have selected To Be Determined for International Shipping your items will not be accepted by Google Shopping.

6. Listing duplicate items on multiple sites is also not viewed favorably by Google or GS - especially if the description is copied verbatim from one site listings to another site listing. This is labeled as duplicate content.

The reality of the situation is it's about $$. Currently the results are being won by a few very large players with very deep pockets. While we would like to tell shops that Ruby Lane's pockets have no bottom to them, we certainly aren't going to do that.

Complete Marketing Program
While we are currently displaying on a limited basis in Google Shopping, we remind shops that this is only one spoke in the wheel of a complete marketing program that we manage on an ongoing basis. If you haven't already looked at these marketing vehicles you can view them here

Article Last Update: September 29, 2013