My 2014 Google Shopping Wishlist

By Kirk Williams | @PPCKirk | Owner of ZATO


As I write this post, the quiet inspirational strains of my Spotify Christmas list are wafting through the air. Ok, I’m not ready for that season here, but I thought it would be nice to get my wishlist in extra early this year so there’s time to get all of these changes done BEFORE the holiday season (i.e., e-commerce high tide) hits.


Last October, in preparation for the looming holiday season, I wrote a guest post on the Clix Marketing blog entitled: My 2013 Google Shopping Christmas Wishlist. Keep in mind that this post was written before Google Shopping had even rolled out of Beta so some of the points have to do with PLA-specific wishes, but others are still legitimate wishes I’m hoping to see eventually! Since Google is getting ready to transition everyone to Google Shopping campaigns, I thought it would be helpful to take stock of potential areas for improvement in the hope that further changes can be made to these campaign types.



Google Shopping Suggested Change Summary


If you are in a hurry right now, then note the changes here and bookmark this page so you can read it in depth (and probably even memorize it) at a later point.


  • Keyword Targeting
  • Delete Option for ‘All products’ Product Group
  • Ability to Exclude Keywords in the Search Term Report
  • Impression Share for Specific Products
  • Enhanced Product Search in Google Merchant Center
  • Products Tab Information In the Product Groups Tab


To be honest, I’ve been planning this post for awhile, but when I heard that Google’s Matt Lawson was going to be interviewed on #PPCChat I decided to wait to write it with the off chance he might announce some new Google Shopping changes. Well have no fear, all current Google Shopping settings are safe for awhile longer because nothing was announced. It was fun to hear Matt say that Google is aware of us over at #PPCChat so maybe posts like this will help us keep making a case for various updates.


Therefore, this is my post about updates I’d like to see added to Google Shopping. I would be remiss in not pointing out that we have seen a good response by Google to address initial Google Shopping concerns. If you remember, when these first hit they didn’t have ad groups and did not have ad group level negative keywords. These were both added by Google and greatly appreciated by those of us in e-commerce-land!


So less this post be misunderstood, I’m excited about some of the awesome things Google Shopping brings to the table (that have been detailed in many places). I think Google Shopping is a step further than the PLA Campaigns of old and that is a good thing! The purpose of this post is to make note of several (big and small) changes for which I believe I can make a case as being beneficial to the Google Shopping campaigns.


Google Shopping Campaigns Suggested Changes


>  Keyword Targeting

This request shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who does PPC. In the words of Google’s Director of Performance Ad Marketing:

I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. I’m not sure if there’s a reason given for why there’s no keyword targeting in Google Shopping (I’ve not seen an official statement), but here’s one e-commerce PPCer who sure would love to see this dominant form of targeting also be available in Google Shopping.


There are so. many. times. I have to use an odd arrangement of hacked up negative keywords in order to attempt to funnel traffic to the correct Ad Group in Shopping when a single, solitary exact match keyword would have done beautifully.


> Delete Option for ‘All products’ Product Group

You knew about this checkbox, right? I wrote about it here: “Is This One Checkbox Killing Your Google Shopping Strategy.” Basically, if you forget to check this box, you could be showing your product groups unfiltered for any product in your feed.


all products group in google shopping


Here’s the catch, even if you chose to “exclude” this box, you may have unwittingly re-enabled it again. That’s because there’s no way to delete it from an ad group. If you have ever bulk edited the Max CPCs in a Shopping Ad Group then you may have unknowingly rechecked that box and killed your targeting strategy.


The option to delete that pesky checkbox would give me a sense of relief so I can’t accidentally turn “All products” back on!


>  Ability to Exclude Keywords in the Search Term Report


Unlike Search campaigns, Shopping campaigns do not have the Search Term Report in the Keywords tab (have I mentioned that the Keywords tab only houses negative keywords, there are no positive keywords? Oh, I have… nvm…).


There is no option to exclude keywords directly in that report on any level.


This Report is in the Dimensions tab of Shopping campaigns. Now don’t get me wrong, the location doesn’t really bother me at all. The minor frustration I have, is that there is no option to exclude keywords directly in that report on any level. It’s minor, sure, but it would be nice to be able to go through and check boxes as I see those excludable pesky keywords right there in the immediate interface. I’m not sure why this feature isn’t available since the option to exclude is in the normal Search Query Report (SQR), but it would be nice here as well.



>  Impression Share for Specific Products


I love that the impression share metric is available in Google Shopping! It is a great metric to know, but since we can see it for Product Groups in an Ad Group, it would be nice to see what it is for the individual products in each Product Group. Since those products are what gives the Product Group the Impression Share statistic, it would be nice to see the Imp Share % for each product in each Product Group.


> Enhanced Product Search in Google Merchant Center


Perhaps I’m the only one that wants to search for a product quickly in Merchant Center. Currently there is only the option to search using the product ID. Often, a reason I would like to search for the product is to figure out the product ID!


google merchant center in adwords


Curiously, I just looked and was surprised to discover that the Adwords GMC connection DOES allow for more enhanced searches, say, a word in the product title. My wish is that the same functionality is put into the Search in the Products Section of Merchant Center.



>  Products Tab Information In the Product Groups Tab


Last but not least, I’d like to see the information in the Products tab made available in the tab where we make the CPC decisions, the Product Groups tab. If I have a Product Group of, say, 25 tightly grouped products I can only currently see their Product IDs. I’m devoted to my clients, but not devoted enough to memorize their Product Ids. It would be awesome to have the context found in the Products tab as we analyze the click data to see at a quick glance which specific product is triggering all those impressions/clicks.


So, there are the wishes I came up with. Hopefully they will be granted before the holiday season! How about you, did I miss something you would have added into a Google Shopping Wishlist? Leave it as a comment below or tweet it out to me at @PPCKirk (make sure to include @PPCHero in the discussion too!).