Cross-posted from the Google Inside AdWords Blog

The holiday season is a time of the year when many of us spend hours finding the perfect gifts. It’s also a time when knowing that an online retailer is trustworthy is more important than ever. That’s where Google Trusted Stores comes in - we’re spreading holiday cheer by helping people find the best online stores and shop with confidence.

Google Trusted Stores is a free certification program to highlight retailers that offer a consistently great shopping experience. Qualifying merchants display a badge on their website, and Google stands behind these stores by offering $1,000 of free purchase protection. Since we introduced the program last year, we’ve been working hard to expand it, including launching a new integration with seller ratings on AdWords, updating the badge with more helpful information for shoppers, and broadening store participation around the world.

Shopper feedback powering seller ratings

Google Trusted Stores now helps to power seller ratings, which show on AdWords text ads as well as Product Listing Ads on Google Shopping. This integration provides shoppers with valuable information, while giving participating retailers a free and easy way to earn the ratings they deserve. Advertisers who display seller ratings on their ads typically see a boost in AdWords click-through rates, with higher ratings generally resulting in higher click-through rates.

Providing helpful information at shoppers’ fingertips

In the US, Google Trusted Stores now provides shoppers with an upgraded store performance summary that appears when they hover over the badge on a merchant’s website. The summary includes helpful returns, delivery, and customer support responsiveness metrics provided by StellaService, a company that objectively measures the customer service experience by shopping anonymously at online stores.

More confident shoppers fueling global expansion
Millions of people now see the Google Trusted Stores badge on retailer sites and in Google ads every day. In fact, we’ve more than tripled US store participation in the last year. Because shoppers value the badge, many of these stores are seeing sales growth. For instance, OnlineShoes measured a 4.2% sales increase from the Google Trusted Stores badge, and AutoAnything saw an increase of 5.2%.

Given the great shopper and retailer response in the US, we’ve started to expand Google Trusted Stores around the world. We recently introduced pilot programs in the UK, France, Germany, and Australia, each with a collection of excellent merchants such as Schuh (UK), (France), PEARL (Germany), and Kogan (Australia). (Note - only shoppers located in a particular country will see the badge for that country.)

Learn more 
To learn more about the program, please visit our website. If you’re a US retailer, you can apply to become a Google Trusted Store. If you are a retailer outside the US, please let us know you’re interested here: UK, France, Germany, Australia.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

Posted by Brian Marquardt, Group Product Manager, Google Shopping 

Can online search ads impact offline store sales? The connection seems counterintuitive, but the answer is a firm "yes." A milestone meta-analysis of experiments with 13 top U.S. retailers, conducted by Applied Predictive Technologies, proves that search ads drive incremental offline sales. Results vary by industry and advertiser, but the research offers guidance for multi-channel retailers: Create a seamless connection between your channels and use digital to efficiently drive sales across the board.

 To read the full article visit Google Think Insights.

 Posted by Nina Thatcher, The Google Technology Team

Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and if you’re like us, you still have loads of stuff to buy on your expanding holiday gift list. If you can’t imagine braving the crowds to get everything picked and purchased, don’t worry: our elves have made some improvements to Google Shopping in time for the holidays.

Find the hottest toys and get inspired with our holiday shortlists
We’ve curated holiday shortlists for top gift categories including Hot Toys, Electronics, Google & Android Gadgets, Gifts for the Home, Gifts for Her and Gifts for Him. For those of you looking for something to delight the kids in your life, here are some of the top trending toy searches on Google Shopping this month:

And for those of us wanting to relive our childhoods, we’re also seeing many nostalgic toys making a comeback this year:

Browse more quickly and easily
A new shopping experience on desktop, tablet and mobile makes it easier than ever to browse and hone in on items you want to buy, whether it’s a camera, a ski jacket or an ice cream maker. Click on a product to preview details like sizes, colors and description, and find out if it’s available at a nearby local store. If you see an item that’s almost perfect but not quite, click to view “visually similar” items.

Make your shortlist and check it twice
Shortlists help you keep track of products that catch your eye, compare them at a glance, and share ideas with friends and family. Your shortlist now also stays with you at the top of each page while you browse Google Shopping, so you can keep track of items as you go.

Check out the product from all angles
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what an item actually looks like from the online picture. Now, for many items on Google Shopping, you can see a 360° view of the products. These interactive images bring you the in-store feeling of holding and touching a product.
Once you’ve got something for everyone on your shopping list, we encourage you to buy something for yourself. You’ve earned it.

(Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Search Blog)

Running top-notch digital campaigns for the holidays can be a lot of work, and your to-do list can seem never-ending. On top of the festivities of the season, you’re juggling fleeting promotions, revising stale ads, and trying to balance your budget -- all in hopes of reaching holiday shoppers at the moment they’re looking to buy. So how do you succeed online during one of the busiest times of the year, and reach the right people with the right message, at the drop of a (Santa) hat?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared some best practices to whip your campaigns into shape, just in time for the holidays. Today, we wanted to recap a few of our favorite search marketing “stocking stuffers” to put the cheer back in your holiday and help you go faster, smarter, and better than ever before. With tools to scale and streamline your seasonal campaigns, find some extra time to sit back and enjoy your toasty apple cider -- while we take care of the rest.

Deliver just the right gift with inventory-aware campaigns.
Admit it: Manually managing your product inventory to stay on top of changing products, new promotions and seasonal search trends can leave you feeling like a Grinch. To lighten your load this holiday season, inventory-aware campaigns let you use your existing Google Merchant Center Feeds to automatically update your search campaigns -- showing the right product to the right customer, when they’re looking to buy. To get started with inventory-aware campaigns, check out some tips and tricks here.

On our “nice” list: ATG Stores. Search advertising is the primary driver of traffic to ATG’s website and is key to helping ATG scale their online marketing across a breadth of products -- spanning four million SKUs from 3,500 different manufacturers. Using inventory-aware campaigns, ATG Stores expanded their reach with 160 new campaigns containing over 6 million new long-tail keywords -- resulting in 3x higher ROAS for their business. “Inventory-aware campaigns help our customers by showing them how many units we have in stock, and at what price. It’s going to be a much more compelling experience for our shoppers,” says Tom Heffernan, Search Marketing Manager for ATG.

Do the work of a team of elves with automated rules.
Stay up 'til midnight waiting for Santa -- not your campaign updates -- with a little help from automated rules. Schedule changes to specific ads and keywords, based on criteria you specify, to ensure that your holiday campaigns are in tip-top shape (which means you can spend less time on repetitive tasks, and more time setting up those reindeer traps!). To get started with automated rules, check out some tips and tricks here.

On our “nice” list: Media Experts. As Chris Sylvestre, Manager of Search Marketing at Media Experts puts it, “USing automated rules this season, I’ll be more focused on what ingredients to put in my eggnog than I’ll be about our campaigns launching on time!” Maurice Revah, Senior search Marketing Analyst, continues: “Automated rules allow us to activate and pause time sensitive promotions for our clients, regardless of the time of day. This enables us to operate outside of regular business hours, increasing productivity beyond measurement.”

Solve the cross-channel puzzle with display remarketing from search ads.
It’s not a miracle on 34th Street: you can get your search and display campaigns connected and performing this holiday season, and beyond. Display remarketing from search ads will help you close the loop on those last-minute shoppers who searched for your product or service but didn't convert. With this feature, re-engage your audience with display ads across exchanges via DoubleClick Bid Manager, or across Google Display Network -- and do it all with an easy, tagless workflow. To get started with display remarketing from search ads, check out some tips and tricks here.

Race to the top of the search page with real-time bid optimization.
Looking for a solution that’ll help you go as fast as Rudolph? Put your best bid forward with our Performance Bidding Suite, designed to drive campaign performance through speedy, data-driven bid optimization. DoubleClick Search uses instant conversion data to update bids in near real-time, to more closely track to your seasonal goals, and help you get the ROI the size of a holiday feast. To get started with display remarketing from search ads, check out some tips and tricks here,

Get a full view of your online advertising with more data integrations.
To capture sales that occur after the inevitable rush to the malls, our Conversions API allows you to upload and edit conversions automatically so you can factor in purchases that started with your search ads, but resulted in transactions outside of your website. With this feature, you can upload new conversions to account for in-store transactions, or edit existing conversions to account for discounts and exchanges (...let’s face it -- we knew you didn’t need another pair of snowman pajamas).

On our “nice” list: ymarketing. With the DoubleClick Search Conversions API, ymarketing easily and automatically integrated their call tracking information (as well as data from other outside data sources) into DoubleClick Search. Steven Hellbusch, Performance Media Supervisor at ymarketing, says: “With the Conversions API, we can attribute calls to the specific keyword by search engine in almost real time. The ability to then optimize off of both online and offline conversions has allowed us to better meet our clients’ goals. With all of our data in one place, we have a more accurate picture of what’s happening from a user experience, and more importantly, we have ability to unearth new opportunities for our client.”

Do you have a DoubleClick tip or trick that gets you through the busy holiday season?
Email it to us at with your name and title. We’ll feature the best tips here on the blog!

Recently the Google Shopping team introduced Shopping Campaigns, to better utilize Product Listing Ads (PLA). These campaigns allow you to streamline how you manage and bid on your products, report your performance, and find opportunities to grow your traffic from Google. Learn how to put this new campaign type to work for you in this week's Learn with Google webinar. We'll walk through campaign how-to's, best practices, and optimizing your PLAs.

This webinar will feature a live question and answer session with Nicole Premo, a Google Shopping partner manager. Be sure to register and have your questions answered. We'll kick things off on November 20, 2013 at 10am PT / 1pm ET and the webinar will run for about an hour. Click here to register.

Posted by Matt Ludwig, The Learn With Google Team

Holiday shopping is already in full swing, and people are increasingly turning to the internet to get advice on what’s hot, who they should buy from and where they should purchase their gifts. In our study conducted with Millward Brown Digital, we found that searchers are 1.5x more likely to buy than those who don’t use search, making them a particularly valuable audience for marketers.

Find out what you need to know about the search habits of 2013’s holiday shoppers on Google Think Insights.

Posted by Nina Thatcher, The Google Technology Team

Last year, we introduced Google Trusted Stores in the US to help consumers shop online with confidence while creating new opportunities for businesses to build trust and loyalty with their customers. Since then, we’ve been working hard to bring the program to more countries around the world. Last week, we launched Google Trusted Stores pilot programs in the UK (Google Certified Shops) and France (Google Marchands de confiance). And today, we’re introducing a pilot of Google Trusted Stores in Australia.

Google Trusted Stores is a program that helps shoppers identify online stores that offer a great shopping experience. For retailers, it creates an opportunity to differentiate their business, attract new customers, and increase sales by displaying a Trusted Stores badge, awarded to merchants that demonstrate a strong track record of on-time shipping and excellent customer service. When a shopper hovers over the badge on the merchant’s site, they’ll see helpful performance metrics, plus information about free purchase protection from Google. Here’s what the badge looks like in Australia:

Our goal with Google Trusted Stores is to give shoppers the reassurance they need to shop confidently online at a broad set of stores. And we also aim to help excellent merchants expand their e-commerce businesses. Based on the success stories that we’ve seen in the US, we expect that participating in Google Trusted Stores will drive meaningful increases in online sales in other countries as well.

For the international pilot programs, we’re proud to be working with a great set of retailers in each country (please note - you’ll only see the badge for a particular country if you are located in that country):




Google Trusted Stores is entirely free, both for shoppers and merchants. If you’re an international retailer and interested in the program, please let us know here: AU, UK, FR. US retailers can apply here.

Posted by Brian Marquardt, Group Product Manager, Google Shopping

This is the year the store window goes digital. According to our new research, conducted with Ipsos, more people are researching and purchasing holiday gifts online than ever before. They’re also shopping across screens and channels, looking for great deals, and starting earlier than before. So, with the holiday season already underway, we take a look at these and more trends marketers should know for 2013, including the hottest products on Google. Head on over to Google Think Insights to read a summary of the research and download the top stats.

Brands are engaging their audiences on YouTube by creating powerful stories that integrate with their digital advertising campaigns. This issue of YouTube Insights sets out to help brands build strong connections with their fans in the most effective way. We showcase learnings from such brand stories, along with data and stats on audiences, and reveal the results of advertising on YouTube and other Google properties.

Join us for the YouTube Insights Hangout on 11/7 at 1pm EST moderated by Tara Levy, Managing Director, Google Ads Marketing. She will facilitate a discussion around the YouTube audience and methods for leveraging YouTube to successfully engage active viewers, including highlights from the You Insights Report.

Panelists include experts:
  • Mike Henry, CEO, Outrigger Media 
  • Ann Greene, Millward Brown 
  • Rob Davis, Executive Director, Ogilvy Content Practice 
  • Gun Johnson, Advertising Research Director, Google 

To RSVP and find out more information, please click here.

Posted by Linda Tao, The Google Think Insights Team