Details are emerging of a new paid ad format from Google based around an ‘enhanced’ Google product listing. Retailers for some time have known that, via the Google Base product, the search engine results pages that carry product info have been a great source of free shopper traffic from Google.

It looks like this will remain a free service, but now a limited trial is underway that will offer a paid version of this service, giving a more ‘prominent placement’ over to ads under this program. And to make things even more interesting, the payment structure may be based on commission (CPA) rather than PPC.

So what does this mean for business owners maybe already involved in PPC and SEO campaigns?

1. Just like now, the Google Product service is determined by category placement, not keywords. This means traditional e-retailers of deliverable products are the ones in mind for this.

2. again like now, a regular program of updates on price and product info will be required, weather submitted by spreadsheet or automatically by feed. Another reason why retailers, with retails systems that output in compatible formats, are in line for this.

3. If the if the format is using the CPA model, then rock-solid tracking techniques on stable systems will need to be used. A current CPA model under content network advertising is only available to adwords users after consistent conversion data over a 30 days period is received back into adwords.

4. I suspect that unlike the content network CPA model mentioned above, advertisers will NOT be able to nominate their own CPA. Google instead will be taking a commission of final sales. Given that prominent placements on the product listings may be determined by price, it will be most interesting to see how advertisers balance offers with margins now Google are taking a cut.

We don’t know when/if this will roll out to all areas, but if you need help with your Google product program, advice on analytics and tracking installation in the meantime, contact Goldladder to see how we can help.