Publishers

Last week, Google announced on its blog that moving forward “search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google.” This change is a major shift for Google as the company looks to expand its marketplace play as an alternative (dare we say, “competitor”) to Amazon’s dominance.



What do we expect to happen next:

More shoppers - COVID-19 and a surge in online shopping likely forced Google to make this move sooner than it was planning. As Amazon found itself struggling to keep up with order fulfillment, shoppers really took to exercising their shopping options across the internet, comparing to see who had what and how soon they were able to get it. As a marketer, now is the time to evaluate messaging, put your best foot forward, and meet new customers at the marketplace.

Impression share will be a key metric to focus on - Take a snapshot of where you were prior to the advent of free listings and keep this in mind as a benchmark or target to work toward. With a huge influx of new listings (and impression volume), impression shares for existing Shopping advertisers are most likely going to drop. Using impression share as an optimization goal is a wise option once you know what the adjusted range is.





Product feed optimization will become more meaningful - Now that Google Shopping is not “pay-to-play” only, there is a more important emphasis on having really high quality product content. With a growing field of competition, relevance is paramount. Listed below are a few of the more important must-do’s to get the most out of your feed:

  1. Building out strong, relevant product titles
  2. Ensuring your products are indexed into the most accurate categories
  3. Including high quality, clearly formatted product images
  4. Presenting current prices for products and promoting discounts


Learn More


It’s a unique time to be in online retail, and any business that advertises products on Google should evaluate its own response to this change. If you are confident that your business can satisfy fulfillment with an expansion to Google Shopping, see Google’s help center for more details on how to get started. Google’s Shopping Insights page can also be a useful resource to understand trends and benchmarking numbers. Maybe it makes sense to expand step-by-step by listing select products or categories and adding more over time. It really depends on your goals and priorities.

As a reminder, you can always subscribe to our blog to get more tips on how to stay ahead of the game with your advertising efforts.







The Publisher Spotlight is a series where we introduce premium publishers who are using Partner Connect to develop business relationships with relevant and interested advertisers. In this post, we spoke with Kirk Ciarrocchi, Paid Search Marketing Manager at The Sharper Image, an American brand that offers consumers home electronics, air purifiers, gifts and other high-tech lifestyle products.

Where people find creative gifts for all occasions



The Sharper Image is the online place to go for cutting edge gadgets and electronics, as well as luxury home and lifestyle products. Our unique products add style and comfort to any home and also make great gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, weddings, and the holidays. No matter what the occasion is, our customers visit our website to find original and creative gifts. Our top categories include drones, hover boards, air purifiers, massage chairs, audio and sound, travel accessories, and sleep solutions.

With over 500,000 unique visitors per month and over 3 million unique visitors during the November–December holiday season, our website reflects the popularity of our brand.

The Sharper Image audience is made up of avid and
active shoppers



Our users tend to be very affluent, are not price-sensitive, and are consistently active shoppers. As far as connecting with complementary partners goes, we’ve done similar strategies with our catalog mailing lists, and found a strong connection between our customers and the customers of other luxury living brands.

For instance, we’ve partnered with brands offering goods and services such as wine subscriptions, travel merchandise, performance bicycles, finance and insurance, and home décor. We think that our customer base would be a great fit with a number of different types of retailers.

Other important stats to note are that 91% of our users live in the United States, with a 50/50 split between males and females. Additionally, 92% of our users are over the age of 25, and 72% are over the age of 35.

How did you learn about Partner Connect?



In developing a more advanced display strategy, our Marin team recommended Partner Connect as a way to share and find highly qualified and targeted audiences. After finding huge success with Marin in our search efforts, being able to leverage Marin in other areas seemed like a no-brainer because we’ve already proven that the technology works, and works well.

What goals are you looking to achieve with
Partner Connect?



We’d love to be able to share our data with other non-competing brands. While benefiting our partners, we hope to learn even more about our customers and their interests.

Interested in targeting The Sharper Image’s audience? Learn more about audience extension with Partner Connect!

The Publisher Spotlight is a series where we introduce premium publishers who are using Partner Connect to develop business relationships with relevant and interested advertisers. In this post, we spoke with Shehzad Daredia, co-founder and CEO of bop.fm, a music aggregator service that simplifies music discovery and playback across the web, about the unique qualities and benefits of targeting the bop.fm audience.

bop.fm makes it incredibly easy for music lovers to discover new music


bop.fm is a music service aggregator. We let people focus on the music they love, and not worry about where it comes from, by allowing them to connect their favorite music services into one unified interface. Listeners can connect subscription services like Spotify, Deezer, or Rdio; download stores like iTunes, Amazon, or Google Play; or even the unstructured, “free” services like YouTube and SoundCloud. Once they do so, we handle all the hard work of finding songs and ensuring playback. All the user has to do is search for a song and press play. With Bop, users can also build playlists and share songs with their friends, and it all happens seamlessly.

One really cool benefit is that since users can connect multiple music services within their bop.fm accounts, they can listen to artists and songs that may not be available through a particular streaming service. For example, someone might be a Spotify user, but have to open a different app to listen to artists like the Beatles or Taylor Swift, or maybe the latest Drake mixtape. But with Bop, they won’t need to worry about it, they simply pick the song they want to hear, and we’ll automatically find where it’s available.

bop.fm’s reach goes beyond its website


In addition to the bop.fm website, we syndicate our technology out to partners. These partners include major entertainment publishers like Billboard, artist websites like Arianna Grande, lyric sites like Rap Genius, music blogs like Complex, and even news outlets like Huffington Post.

We power playback for them, giving them a 3rd party player widget they can embed to their site to make it really easy to add music playback that’ll work for all their visitors, regardless of what music service they’re subscribed to.

We also have an iOS app that lets users do everything they can on the desktop – listen to songs, create playlists, connect music services – all on the go.

bop.fm’s audience is incredibly diverse and the data they capture comprehensive


We receive millions of visitors each month, and our user base is very diverse. They span a wide range of demographics, geographies, and genre interests. The tie that binds all our visitors is that they’re all music fans and pretty technologically savvy – we have a good distribution of visitors across desktop, phone, and tablet devices.
We collect data at a very granular level. We can capture audience data at the artist, genre, and even song level, and can pass all that data into the Marin Display platform. For the moment, we’ve built audiences at a higher level, by genre, but we’re starting to pass artist-level data through, too.

Additionally, one of the most unique aspects of our data is that we can detect which music service a user is subscribed to and allow advertisers to target that attribute. You won’t be able to find this elsewhere. So for example, if a brand is currently running advertising targeting Spotify users, they can extend that reach by finding that audience outside of the Spotify experience, and targeting them on the web and Facebook.

Why target bop.fm’s audience?


There are a lot of potential targeting applications for our audience.

One obvious type of advertiser is a company in the music industry, like a music festival looking to reach relevant audiences, or an artist or label trying to promote a new album. We’ve found that a lot of retail brands are interested in reaching our audience as well. Sometimes they see an overlap of a particular genre or artist and their own audience – for example, a jeans brand going after country music fans, or a footware/athletic apparel brand going after hip hop fans. Other times, they may be trying to take a more cultural or artistic approach to connecting with their audiences. The prototypical example would be if Pepsi does a big campaign with Beyonce, and they can easily reach Beyonce fans across the web through us.

What goals are you looking to achieve with Partner Connect?


This is a new concept for us, so we’re eager to see how brands can leverage the data we collect. We think there’s a ton of opportunities to leverage the data that we collect and make available for targeting within Partner Connect. Our goal is to get a better idea of demand, including the types of companies, the audiences they’re interested in, and the ways they’re using that data, to get a better idea of the overall revenue potential.

Interested in targeting bop.fm’s audience? Learn more about audience extension with Partner Connect!

The Publisher Spotlight is a series in which we’ll be introducing premium publishers who are using Partner Connect to develop business relationships with relevant and interested advertisers. In this post, Eric Simons, co-founder of the open source developer-focused education platform Thinkster (and also famously known as the AOL Squatter), speaks about his success with the Partner Connect Publisher Exchange.

Can you tell me about Thinkster and its audience?


Thinkster is a learning platform for developers who are interested in continuing their education and skill development by learning about some of the more bleeding edge JavaScript technologies. Our course structures are a mix between blogging and course platforms.

Our user base consists mainly of experienced front-end JavaScript developers with a wide range of coding interests and experience. Generally, these are professionals who have been working for several years at technology companies or startups, and are very good at what they’re doing. Currently, we receive about 120-150K unique visitors per month and are growing 30% monthly.

We have already engaged in several partnerships within the past month. Since we have a more technical user base, the advertisers that are most interested in our audience tend to be B2B companies with a strong technology focus: enterprise software, software analytics, and cloud infrastructure companies.

How did Partner Connect help you address your business needs?


There are a couple really interesting benefits we’ve found with Partner Connect. First, it’s given us an opportunity to create an advertising-based revenue stream without degrading the user experience on our site by cluttering it with ads. Second, and more interestingly, creating that revenue stream has given us the freedom to think about our product offering and to take different approaches with our pricing. For example, by knowing we can rely on the Partner Connect revenue stream, we can offer courses at a lower price or even for free.

What’s one thing about Partner Connect that surprised you?


We couldn’t believe how easy it was to get set up. It’s hard to beat just dropping a JavaScript tag on our site. I actually checked in with the Perfect Audience team (who’ve been awesome and amazingly helpful) just to make sure that it was that simple and that we weren’t missing anything. Once we had the tracking tag installed, all we had to do was wait for our audience pools to build up, and we were generating revenue.

Interested in targeting Thinkster's audience? Learn more about audience extension with Partner Connect!

About the Author


eric simons

Eric Simons is the co-founder of Thinkster, an open source developer-focused education platform.

The Publisher Spotlight is a series in which we’ll be introducing premium publishers who are using Partner Connect to develop business relationships with relevant and interested advertisers. In this post, Eric Simons, co-founder of the open source developer-focused education platform Thinkster (and also famously known as the AOL Squatter), speaks about his success with the Partner Connect Publisher Exchange.

Can you tell me about Thinkster and its audience?


Thinkster is a learning platform for developers who are interested in continuing their education and skill development by learning about some of the more bleeding edge JavaScript technologies. Our course structures are a mix between blogging and course platforms.

Our user base consists mainly of experienced front-end JavaScript developers with a wide range of coding interests and experience. Generally, these are professionals who have been working for several years at technology companies or startups, and are very good at what they’re doing. Currently, we receive about 120-150K unique visitors per month and are growing 30% monthly.

We have already engaged in several partnerships within the past month. Since we have a more technical user base, the advertisers that are most interested in our audience tend to be B2B companies with a strong technology focus: enterprise software, software analytics, and cloud infrastructure companies.

How did Partner Connect help you address your business needs?


There are a couple really interesting benefits we’ve found with Partner Connect. First, it’s given us an opportunity to create an advertising-based revenue stream without degrading the user experience on our site by cluttering it with ads. Second, and more interestingly, creating that revenue stream has given us the freedom to think about our product offering and to take different approaches with our pricing. For example, by knowing we can rely on the Partner Connect revenue stream, we can offer courses at a lower price or even for free.

What’s one thing about Partner Connect that surprised you?


We couldn’t believe how easy it was to get set up. It’s hard to beat just dropping a JavaScript tag on our site. I actually checked in with the Perfect Audience team (who’ve been awesome and amazingly helpful) just to make sure that it was that simple and that we weren’t missing anything. Once we had the tracking tag installed, all we had to do was wait for our audience pools to build up, and we were generating revenue.

Interested in targeting Thinkster's audience? Learn more about audience extension with Partner Connect!

About the Author


eric simons

Eric Simons is the co-founder of Thinkster, an open source developer-focused education platform.

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