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Google Merchant Center Next

What is Google Merchant Center Next?

What is Google Merchant Center Next?

10/25/19 UPDATE: Hello Facebook Agency Visitor Person!  We’re delighted to have you visit this awesome post. About a year ago, ZATO stopped offering Facebook Ads solutions so we could focus solely on what we do best: Google Ads. Because of this, we’re always interested in partnerships with great Social Advertising agencies (like yourself, wink wink!) and we offer referral fees for signed clients!  Anyway, back to it, and happy reading…

Post Summary

Announcing: Google Merchant Center Next

Google has begun to give certain users access to a redesigned Google Merchant Center UI (User Interface) called Google Merchant Center Next. My sources say there communication with Google has revolved around Google's desire to simplify the original Merchant Center experience, and that this will eventually replace Google Merchant Center fully for all advertisers.

google merchant center next help page

You can see the first of Google Merchant Center Next policy docs noted here, however as one of my friend's put it when we were discussing this, it's interesting to note that the links on this page are for the original Merchant Center documentation so they either haven't begun to write new docs, OR (more likely, IMO), much of the backstage aspects of Merchant Center will remain, thankfully, unchanged.

Watch My First Impressions in Comparing the Original Google Merchant Center to Next!

What does Google Merchant Center Next mean for PPCers and DTC Brands? 

Time will tell, especially since reports of initial Beta testers of the new UI note that there are certain features missing (for instance, feed rules or supplemental feeds). This suggests additional transition steps would need to be taken to prevent merchant feed issues if, for instance, certain feeds are utilizing elements in the old UI that would not transfer into the new UI. That is conjecture until the UI becomes more finalized, but one I think is worth voicing so it is squarely in the brain of Google engineers as the product continues to be developed.

My thoughts? I'm all for simplifying something that should be simplified. There are certain aspects of GMC that somewhat ballooned over time that it would be great to see simplified. The promotional aspect of GMC, for instance, is far too complicated in my opinion. Instead of having Promotions, and unique sales price fields, both of which may or may not trigger certain ad elements... it would make sense to have more of a simplified UI option for any potential promotion (that could perhaps even be tied to Google Ads promotions) regardless of where the price is or is not triggered on a product page.

There are also certainly opportunities for more simplified feed edits. Supplemental Feed and Feed Rules offer similar functionality, but for dramatically different purposes and it would make more sense to me to expand the functionality for Feed Rules to allow more customizable (and multiple) solutions for editing attributes. Look at your basic feed provider for ideas in how these automated rules could work.

Regardless, it remains to be seen overall whether this is simply a helpful UI overhaul on an aging product, or another step by Google in removing manual control from the hands of more advanced PPCers.

Have you had the chance to play around with Google Merchant Center Next yet? If so, share your thoughts on Twitter, or LinkedIn and let's chat about it!

google merchant center next screenshot
Screenshot used with permission from Martijn Beumer of Producthero

If you'd like some information from ProductHero's Martijn Beumer based on his experiences in the new UI, check out his LinkedIn post here.

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Kirk Williams
@PPCKirk - Owner & Chief Pondering Officer

Kirk is the owner of ZATO, his Paid Search & Social PPC micro-agency of experts, and has been working in Digital Marketing since 2009. His personal motto (perhaps unhealthily so), is "let's overthink this some more."  He even wrote a book recently on philosophical PPC musings that you can check out here: Ponderings of a PPC Professional.

He has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero 6 years in a row (2016-2021), has written articles for many industry publications (including Shopify, Moz, PPC Hero, Search Engine Land, and Microsoft), and is a frequent guest on digital marketing podcasts and webinars.

Kirk currently resides in Billings, MT with his wife, six children, books, Trek Bikes, Taylor guitar, and little sleep.

Kirk is an avid "discusser of marketing things" on Twitter, as well as an avid conference speaker, having traveled around the world to talk about Paid Search (especially Shopping Ads).  Kirk has booked speaking engagements in London, Dublin, Sydney, Milan, NYC, Dallas, OKC, Milwaukee, and more and has been recognized through reviews as one of the Top 10 conference presentations on more than one occasion.

You can connect with Kirk on Twitter or Linkedin.

In 2023, Kirk had the privilege of speaking at the TEDx Billings on one of his many passions, Stop the Scale: Redefining Business Success.

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