Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Shopping, the tech giant’s comparison shopping engine, has come a long way since its early days as Froogle. But businesses who sell products online know that it’s still been difficult to use, and hasn’t integrated particularly well with Google’s other offerings, like AdWords, in helping advertisers to figure out which advertising campaigns are effective. VentureBeat reports that all of that is poised to change, thanks to an update to integrate Google Shopping into AdWords and to a recent update to Google’s search algorithm.
The AdWords update, announced in an April blog post, sees Google retiring the traditional Product Listing Ads that businesses create in AdWords, and instead upgrading all users’ advertising campaigns to the new Shopping campaigns. The new campaigns, which were announced in February, provide businesses with a graphical interface to track their inventory, pricing, and promotions directly in AdWords. The interface includes new metrics, performance reporting, a bid simulator, and the ability to create new campaigns or ones based on previous Product Listing Ad campaigns. The traditional campaigns will be retired completely by August, and Google will upgrade existing campaigns to Shopping campaigns at that time.
The changes cut out redundant and time-intensive tasks previously involved in creating an advertising campaign, and as VentureBeat points out, finally puts more data into the hands of businesses looking to Google Shopping ad campaigns to drive traffic and sales. For instance, the bid simulator feature makes a variety of metrics — clickthrough rate, cost per click, impression shares, and rankings — viewable on a per-product basis, enabling businesses to track and fine tune how they’re spending their advertising budget.