What is a Google CSS?
Google Shopping CSS is a new form of advertising. CSS stands for Comparison Shopping Services and especially applies to ads that are displayed on the main search page (Google homepage).
As an advertiser, you can adverise through a CSS to optimize your Google Shopping accounts. However, this optimization does not work through classic PPC optimization of your shopping campaigns, but rather through the participation in the CSS program on Google. Advertisers have access to this program by working together with a Google CSS partner such as UnitedAds
CSS applies to each advertiser that places ads through Google Shopping and the potential is huge: CPCs are instantly reduced by 20%, tis making your campaigns 20% more efficient.
Why became Google CSS necessary
The European Commission has fined Google €2.42 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.
- Google has systematically given prominent placement to its own comparison shopping service: Google’s comparison shopping results are displayed, in a rich format, at the top of the search results, or sometimes in a reserved space on the right-hand side. They are placed above the results that Google’s generic search algorithms consider most relevant. This happens whenever a consumer types a product-related query into the Google general search engine, in relation to which Google wants to show comparison shopping results. This means that Google’s comparison shopping service is not subject to Google’s generic search algorithms.
- On the other hand, rival comparison shopping services are subject to Google’s generic search algorithms, including demotions (which lower a search entry’s rank in Google’s search results). Comparison shopping services in the EEA are prone to be demoted by at least two different algorithms, which were first applied in 2004 and 2011, respectively. Evidence shows that even the most highly ranked rival comparison shopping service appears on average only on page four of Google’s search results, and others appear even further down. In practice, this means consumers very rarely see rival comparison shopping services in Google’s search results.
Under the Decision of the EU, Google had to stop its illegal practices concerning its own comparison shopping service within 90 days, and refrain from any measure that has the same or an equivalent object or effect.
In particular, Google had to respect the simple principle of equal treatment in its search results for its own comparison shopping product and rival comparison shopping products. Google has to apply the same processes and methods to position and display rival comparison shopping services in Google’s search results pages as it gives to its own comparison shopping service.
Why you save 20% CPC when using an Google CSS
To provide equal opportunity, Google redesigned the advertising platform as a price comparison service (CSS) and opened it for external price comparison platforms – the so-called Google CSS Partners.
Google`s own price comparioson was re-named to Google Shopping Europe (GSE) and also functions as CSS (“by Google”), participates in the bidding auction like any other price comparison platforms and competes with other CSSs that place bids on behalf of merchants. To run its own comparison shopping service in compliance with the EU rules GSE must work profitable independently.
To do so GSE keeps about 20% of a merchants maxCPC bid as a margin. Therefore, bids are reduced by about 20%, if they advertise through Google Shopping Europe. On the other hand, if a merchant uses a Google CSS Partner, the margin is completely deducted.
In conclusion, these efforts brought external price comparison services into a fair competition with Google own service.
What changes for the Merchant?
For the advertiser/merchant nothing really changes except of course that the clicks get 20% cheaper (This of course is a gamechanger for many merchants).
What changes for the User?
Your Content Goes Here