Will Google's new paid shopping model really deliver added value for the online retailer as they profess it will?
My direct concern with the new paid model, is how are the organic search results going to be differ in relation to where we are now. There has been Google talk on the integration of the old style shopping search results being merged with new the Product Listing format. Great, as that is a facility that has been available for some time now and testing has shown us that the Product Listings have a substantially higher click through in comparison to the other product bolt on, product extensions. So in terms of the PPC model not a lot will change, it will in fact improve because I believe the new ads will take pride of place at the top of the page and visually will be far more appealing than a traditional text ad.
My concern is what is going to happen with the shopping results that were traditionally indexed on page 1 within the organic listings. LetÈs call these results, SEO shopping results as there was no paid model associated with them being shown in the past. These results were triggered when a keyword registered intent to purchase. As a SEO traffic channel we have found they have formed quite a big part of our clients SEO overall strategy and offered real search value. If these organic shopping results are to be discontinued with the new paid model, it will effectively wipe out a complete traffic source overnight. Not only that it will wipe out a traffic source that was delivering quantifiable value for our clients, there revenue will drop and they will now have to pay to find that traffic again.
It remains to be seen what the new format will look like, and we will watch with expectation, but from a SEO perspective it will be sad to see them go as they were a great (free) traffic source. On the future of Google..should I get out of SEO and concentrate on PPC...