Google CSS: Premium Comparison Shopping Partner

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Google CSS: Premium Comparison Shopping Partner

Since September 2017, comparison sites are visible in the Google Shopping results. These results are only visible on Google’s search results page (and not when users click in Google on the “Shopping” tab). Google has implemented this adjustment in connection with a fine (imposed by the European Union). Advertising through a CSS (for example via AdResults’ own CSS) has considerable financial benefits.

Google CSS: how does it work?

In June 2017 it was announced that the European Union would impose a high fine on Google (of 2.4 billion euros) if Google Shopping would not be changed. According to the EU, there is an improper abuse of power by Google because it makes Google’s own Google Shopping comparison site more prominent than other price comparisons. Meanwhile, Google has changed its Google Shopping service to prevent more fines from the EU: price comparison sites (such as Bigshopper.com) are now also visible at the Shopping results within Google Search (within the “Shopping” tab in Google these comparison sites are not visible). That looks like this:

There are 2 results visible from Google and one from a CSS (in this case the CSS Bigshopper). This change increases competition in Google Shopping.

Google CSS pros and cons

It is possible to transfer an existing Google Merchant Center from Google to a CSS (Comparison Shopping Partner). In terms of look and feel nothing changes: it is possible to keep an existing merchant center (including all history). The only thing that changes is that under each product advertisement there is no longer “By Google” visible, but the name of the CSS. AdResults is using the price comparison tool Bigshopper.nl for its customers, (and also Bigshopper.com for other countries in Europe). If we connect a customer, there will be “By Bigshopper” under the product advertisements (see also the example in the image above).

Google CSS disadvantages
There is one disadvantage and that is that other CSS partners (possibly other comparison sites) are no longer visible in the Merchant Center. You can solve this by creating a new AdWords account. However, there are also many advantages to CSS.

Google CSS benefits
The biggest advantage is that there is a financial discount that can go up to 24% till the fist of January 2019! First of all, Google calculates a margin of 20% according to various sources. It normally goes with the auction. This means that a bid via non-CSS (the standard situation in which Google Shopping is advertised) is 20% lower than that actually required: 80% of the bid goes into the auction, 20% goes directly to Google. If a merchant center is connected through a CSS, the full bid will go into the auction. This means higher bids / positions with constant CPCs or a cost reduction.

Situation from November 1, 2018
Google announced at the beginning October 2018 that the amount of CSS partners (and shops advertising through CSS partners) increased fast. Google made the decision to change the temporary cashback from November 1, 2018. This means that the discount on the click prices (the 20% margin) will stay. From the 1st of November, the cashback will be lowered to a fixed 5%* cashback for advertisers advertising through a Google CSS that spend more then 10 dollars in 30 days (the cashback is only based on the spend through a CSS, where the ads are shown on the search result page and not on the Shopping tab in Google). The maximum cashback is limited to 1000.000 USD every month. Google mentioned that this cashback will stay till December 31, 2018.

* This concerns the expenses on Google’s search results page (not clicks from the Google Shopping tab or via Google Shopping partners).

Situation from Januari 1, 2019
From the 1st of Januari 2019, no more cashback will be given by Google. Still, the margin profit of 20% will stay. Every 1.000 euros that is spend in Shopping through a CSS on the search result page of Google, will give a discount of 200 euros on the click prices. This margin is not visible in Google Ads, but is immediately taken into account in the bidding. Advertising through Google means that for every 1 euro bid, only 80 cents will go into the auction (for Shopping Ads visible on the search result pages), with a CSS 1 euro will go into the auction (a bid raise of 25%).

Google CSS in practice

Google sees CSS Partners as competitors of Google. This has shown Google schematically in this way:

This means in practice that there is nothing different: the current AdWords account and the current Google Merchant center can remain, the only thing that Google adapts is a change in the background that the Merchant account runs through the CSS and not through Google itself. The change ensures that there is a link to the CSS under each product, instead of a link to the Google Shopping tab. The transfer and direct benefit of the financial benefits can therefore be done easily and quickly. Our experience is that the transfer does not have a negative impact on the Shopping campaigns and even after the transfer, it shows a better result (given the margin advantage).

Google CSS & AdResults

As previously indicated, AdResults has a partnership with Google. Given the size of the partnership this is a Premium partnership. AdResults has Bigshopper as a comparison shopping partner (this is the comparison site). It is possible to use these benefits as a client of AdResults, but also as a non-client of AdResults or as an agency or reseller. AdResults charges a one-off fee for inclusion on Bigshopper and transferring the current Merchant account to CSS Bigshopper. In addition, there is a monthly fee for the admission to Bigshopper. There are no extra costs for traffic from Bigshopper to your site! AdResults also returns the full margin and the full kickback. You therefore benefit optimally from the (temporary kickback) benefits that Google offers. Bigshopper has signed a management waiver, which means that you keep your existing Google contact person if you switch to our account association.

Why AdResults

AdResults is a premium CSS partner and has a lot of experience with correctly linking your account. Note that when switching, only the Google Shopping ads are automatically transferred to the Google search results page. However, you also want to remain visible on the Google Shopping tab, with Google Shopping partners and of course also continue to use (dynamic) remarketing. We ensure that you are transferred successfully (possibly without having to access your AdWords account). Another advantage is that we do not advertise for your products. Other price comparison sites, with a CPC or CPS model can do this (for example, buying traffic through your own AdWords account and reselling it to you at a higher CPC). AdResults therefore works with a transparent model in which you retain control yourself.

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