On May 31, we announced a new initiative to improve our shopping experience over time. We designed this initiative to help shoppers better research purchases, compare different products and their features and prices, and then connect with merchants to make their purchases.

As part of this new initiative, called Google Shopping, we transitioned Google Product Search in the U.S. to a commercial model built on Product Listing Ads. We made this transition because we believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will lead to better, more up to date product data — which will mean better shopping results for users and in turn, higher quality traffic for merchants.

We completed the transition in the U.S. on October 17 and have seen a great deal of success so far.

Google Shopping — International rollout
With that success in mind, we are pleased to announce that we are rolling out this commercial model for Google Shopping, built on Product Listing Ads, in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland. We think this will bring the same high-quality shopping experience to people — and positive results to merchants — around the world.

In order to give merchants time to make this transition and optimize their campaigns, we're rolling out the new model gradually, via several steps. The first major change will take place on February 13 2013, when visually cleaner results for shopping queries, including some new commercial formats on Google.com  that will display products in a single unit, will replace current search results. These new commercial formats will be labeled as "Sponsored" and appear in the space currently occupied by Adwords ads.

These visually cleaner results for shopping queries will enable shoppers to refine a search by brand or price, and feature larger product images to provide a better sense of a product's attributes. Starting today, we'll begin testing this new format for a small percentage of searches.

The transition to the commercial model will be complete by the end of Q2 2013. We'll also be offering some incentives; details will follow, on this blog and via email, in the coming weeks.

To learn more and get started, merchants can visit

Ranking in Google Shopping, when the full transition is complete in the countries listed above, will be based on a combination of relevance and bid price.

A better shopping experience
These changes will create a better shopping experience that will benefit both shoppers and merchants. Shoppers will find products in one convenient place and quickly be able to compare features, find the best prices, read reviews, and identify great merchants — while advertisers will be given more granular control over product listings and traffic.

We look forward to continuing to evolve the experience with the help of our merchant partners, to help people find what they're looking for at lightning speed — and to help businesses of all sizes reach people at the moment of interest, with helpful information.

Posted by Sameer Samat, Vice President of Product Management, Google Shopping