Latest Updates to Google’s PPC as of May 2020

May2020 Google Ads Update

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Last modified: August 13, 2020

The latest updates to Google Shopping and Hotel Ads as of May 2020.

Free Google shopping listings, a new “curbside pickup” feature and new bidding strategy for Hotel ads. Find out all about these new updates here.

In the past month or so, with everything that’s been going on, there have been some changes announced to Google Shopping and Hotel ads. We run through the important bits you should know.

Revival of Free Google Shopping Ads

Near the end of April, due to the current situation with coronavirus, Google announced that it would be letting advertisers use Google Shopping without charge.

Google has recognised the strain placed on businesses that have had to close physical stores and realises how important online retail is, now more than ever. As in many cases, for a lot of merchants, online is currently the only outlet they have to generate sales and revenue.

Since the end of April the shopping results became fundamentally made up of organic results, as they were back in 2012. Some say this is Google’s way of trying to hit back at Amazon, as Amazon has been dominating the retail search space for months. Introducing organic listings back into the shopping results could improve relevance for some users, ultimately enticing them back to using Google as their first point of call for retail therapy.

As of the writing of this article, users in Singapore and the rest of the world, except the US have to wait. This is because, only businesses in the US are offered the Free Google Shopping Ads. Google is planning to roll out to the rest of the world by end of 2020.

New “curbside pickup” feature in Shopping

Another feature that is being beta-tested to help merchants who use local inventory ads during this time is “curbside pickup”.

In order to use this feature advertisers must:

  • Enable store pickup
  • Provide the service to customers who purchase online, so they can choose a curbside or contactless pickup option
  • Allow curbside or contactless pickup without the need to use an app

Changes to hotel ad charges

In a similar guise, there have also been edits made to hotel ads, which means that hoteliers will not have to pay Google if a customer later cancels a room that was booked via Google.

It is trialing a commission based (per room) bidding strategy that means the hotel owners only pay the commission if the traveler actually stays in the hotel. As well as a ‘free cancellation’ filter, which will allow travelers to just see hotels that offer the option to cancel free of charge.

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