Yesterday, Google officially announced three major "upgrades" to three of its core products: Merchant Center, Search Console, and Manufacturer Center.
The add-ons to Merchant Center and Search Console are especially exciting for retailers as Google has expanded the capabilities of search platform to aid merchants in reaching more shoppers online.
First, the most interesting addition comes to Merchant Center. Now, any retailer can upload a product feed and now product data can power organic search listings and listings that show in image search.
Retailers need not create campaigns in Google Ads to have their products listed organically in these spots and eligibility is automatic.
The rollout is beginning in the US only for now, however Google plans to expand this functionality to other countries in the coming months.
Along with this monumental change to Merchant Center, Google has also added a new Products report to Search Console that will be of value to merchants who implement structured data markup via schema.org to their ecommerce websites.
This report will allow merchants to view pending issues with their markup as well as validate when issues have been fixed.
Finally, for brands and manufacturers, Google has added additional features to Manufacturer Center.
Manufacturer Center, for those who don't know, is a hub for direct brand owners to upload and curate their product data so as to ensure data is displayed accurately in Google search results.
While these updates do not directly help retailers, brand owners will find the added benefits of more rich content for knowledge panels.
We are most excited to hear about how Merchant Center can now help retailers power up their organic presence. This is an incredible added benefit for any merchant, especially because it is not tied to paid listings via Shopping campaigns.
This poses an opportunity to retailers who don't necessarily make Shopping campaigns a part of their omnichannel strategy.