Google is letting retailers run free shopping ads in US search results, which will be displayed in knowledge panels starting this summer.
This move comes only two months after Google made shopping ads free in the ‘Shopping’ tab. All together that’s a lot of free promotion available to retailers.
Following a dramatic increase in online shopping, Google says it has become “crucial” to connect consumers with the best merchants for their needs.
That’s what inspired Google’s decision to expand its free advertising options for retailers.
“When shopping online, it can be daunting to find the right product, the best seller, or the best value. People often have many high quality choices available but aren’t always aware of them all or don’t have an easy way to access them.
For many merchants, connecting with customers in a digital environment is still relatively new territory or a smaller part of their business.”
Google says free ads in the Shopping tab have been a resounding success for merchants thus far.
Free Google Shopping Ads in Knowledge Panels
Free product listings in Google’s main search results will initially appear in knowledge panels that show buying options for particular items.
Here’s an example of a search for a specific model of tea kettle:
The listings that appear under the “Stores” heading are all Google Shopping ads.
Users can scroll down the knowledge panel for an option to view more stores, giving a variety of retailers the opportunity to have their ads served.
These ads will become free starting this summer. Google didn’t specify an exact date, but considering we’re almost in July the shift toward free shopping ads must be happening soon.
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Free listings will first be displayed on mobile, followed by desktop at a later date. This change affects US search results only.
Google’s Free Ads Prove to Be Successful
It should come as no surprise that free ads in Google’s search results have been beneficial for merchants.
Free ads in the Shopping tab have significantly increased engagement between customers and merchants, with ad clicks and impressions seeing a considerable boost.
The amount of business generated from these ads, according to Google, should help generate billions of dollars in annual sales.
With that said, now you have an idea of the impact these free shopping ads will have when rolled out to Google’s main search results.
More Free Google Ads Available
If your business has a physical location, here’s another free ad opportunity you should know about.
From now until September 2020, Google is giving businesses free promoted pins in Google Maps.
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Promoted pins help business stand out in Maps by highlighting specific services that customers are looking for.
Here’s an example of two locations using promoted pins to show they offer takeout/delivery and curbside pickup.
Smart campaign advertisers with a Google My Business listing can display promoted pins for free until September.