Updates and changes are as much part and parcel of Google as a cold goes with lousy weather. An official statement says that Google hopes for more and better quality featuring of products on their search result pages. Correspondingly, free-of-charge product search will be abandoned completely in favor of PLAs (Product Listing Ads); and these cost money. At the moment these alternatives still coexist. PLAs are product ads that are uploaded with the Google Merchant Center by customers through data feeds.
Maybe you remember that some time ago, Google decided that partners of certain marketplaces – as for example Spreadshirt shop partners – are not allowed to create their own data feed for their products. This is why we have so far offered to upload your products in our Spreadshirt feed: http://www.spreadshirt.com/-C3394.
But soon Google will limit the number of products allowed to be uploaded via our merchant feed. The space that will be available to us will be extremely limited.
This and the prospect of having to pay for every single click one of our product receives in a PLA has lead to our decision to reduce the number of products in our data feed. We will limit these to Marketplace products, and take shop products off the merchant feed.
We certainly do not like this development. It looks like there is another Google AdWords coming our way. Who exactly is going to benefit from this development is something that only time will tell… Yet another reason to give our SEO tutorial a thorough reading. As matters stand, search engine optimization is still totally up to you and up to us today.
To make up for this loss, and to establish another distribution channel in Germany, North America, Great Britain and France, we will offer a selection of products on Amazon for those countries. Depending on performance (total sales, conversion rate, quality etc.), we will upload some Marketplace products next week. This implies that you can potentially extend your reach, and there is no disadvantage for you because Spreadshirt will cover the 15% sales commission that Amazon issues. So if one of your products should make it to our list of Marketplace products uploaded to Amazon, you will receive your full commission when it sells there.