Google Images Now Part Of Main Search Network For Shopping Ads
Google recently announced a change to the collection of websites included under the main Search Network in which shopping campaigns are automatically eligible for placement. Starting in late March 2019, shopping campaigns targeting just the Search Network will be eligible to show ads on Google Images in addition to the standard website placements. Although it is currently possible for shopping campaigns to show ads on Google Images search results pages, the campaigns are not automatically eligible for this kind of placement. Shopping campaigns must also be targeting the Search Partner Network in order to get the additional ad eligibility.
According to a Google announcement email about the change, Google has decided to incorporate Google Images search results pages within the main Search Network for shopping campaigns because they believe “Google Images is a visually rich surface and a key part of millions of users’ shopping journeys every day.” Based on the kind of “idea exploration” searches often performed within Google Images — like DYI, beauty, home décor, etc. — Google believes the shopping ads will integrate well and add benefit to the user experience. Once this change takes place, Google is predicting a potential “3-10% increase in traffic at lower cost-per-click and comparable conversion rates,” on shopping campaigns only targeting the Search Network.
However, shopping campaigns currently targeting both the Search Network and Search Partner Network are not likely to see much, if any, change in their total traffic. For campaigns in this situation, Google is essentially just redefining the source network of some of their traffic. These campaigns could see a shift in which network the traffic is coming from — more Search Network traffic and less Search Partner Network traffic than they’ve historically seen — but they will not be gaining any new placements with this change. It is also important to note that historical Google Images traffic will not be re-attributed to the Search Network for these campaigns. Only future Google Images traffic will fall under the new network classification.
Regardless of your shopping campaigns’ current network targeting settings, it will be important to monitor campaign performance closely in the weeks following this change. Adjustments to the classifications of websites within the targeting networks always potentially open up the door for an unpredicted shift in campaign performance as competition changes for each auction.
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