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The Froogle Era

Google began their price comparison campaign all the way back in 2002. But back then it was known as, as we all probably remember…, as Froogle. One of Google’s clever word plays. This was Google’s first attempt to allow shoppers to find the best deals on the internet.


Froogle ran from 2002 to 2012, before the revamp to Google Shopping. Froogle ran smoothly for 10 years but if there’s one thing we’ve learnt about the online shopper it’s that they don’t like to work too hard to find the best deals. Google clearly felt that having almost an entirely different site for price comparison was too much, so the introduction of product listing ads (PLA’s) were born.

Early Google Shopping

The early Google Shopping era wasn’t as successful as Google had hoped, the PLA’s were kind of squished in between text ads and organic search results. They would often appear half way down the page, or in the top corner. Not straight at the top like you see today. Thus some tweaking was required.

Modern Google Shopping

It’s fair to say that the new and improved Google Shopping revolutionised AdWords.  It changed the e-commerce game. It has allowed consumers to see the product image, price and brand from a range of different suppliers without actually clicking on any ads or doing that word that all online shoppers dread… ‘effort’.

The new sleek look is clean and easy to navigate. They now appear at the top of the search page meaning that it’s usually the first thing that potential customers will see.

google shopping

Sure it looks pretty but does it work? In 2015 Adobe’s Digital Index of online advertising released a report stating that shoppers spend 47% more time on Google shopping ads than the year before. They also spent 6% less time on text ads. To me that sounds like it’s only going one way. Google shopping basically allows you to browse through a shopping centre without actually leaving your home.

A number of our clients here at Zelst have completely stopped using traditional text ads and focused purely on Google Shopping and have seen great results.

Here at Zelst we encourage our e-commerce clients to use Google shopping. Discover more about Google Shopping and how it can impact your business here.

Watch this space to stay up to date with all the Digital Marketing trends.