Last week, Google debuted Manufacturer Center, a tool that enables manufacturers to provide detailed information about their products. Here’s a look at what we know and some considerations for manufacturers and retailers.
The data built up in this new repository will be used by Google to help understand when a user is indeed searching for a product and deliver more relevant ads on those queries. Whether users search for a product by name, by a product attribute or by another piece of information about a product, Manufacturer Center can help Google understand what a product is, make the match between a query and a product and then show relevant ads.
So even if retailers haven’t included specific information in their Merchant Center feeds, if someone searches for a particular attribute, Google will be able to call on the Manufacturer Center to surface products and match them to products included in retailers’ product feeds.
We’ve seen Google doing more with card-style ads in Knowledge Panels over the past year or so, and it’s now using Manufacturer Center data to show product specifications.
Calling on data from Manufacturer Center, Google can serve product information that comes straight from the manufacturer in an answer card ad format, like the examples shown below. On the left is a desktop ad, and on the right is a mobile result. The information listed under Details can come straight from Manufacturer Center, while stores and pricing data are pulled from Google Merchant Center.
Taking the examples above, it’s possible that retailers will see their ads shown more with the increasing prevalence of answer card ads. For example, listing retailers eliminates situations in which one or two retailers dominate the available slots for product listing ads on a search.
Using correct GTIN data in Merchant Center feeds is now even more important for retailers, though. GTIN data will be the key to ensuring that products listed by retailers in Google Merchant Center match up to the products included in Manufacturer Center. It can make the difference in eligibility for ads to show on relevant searches.
Manufacturers that sell direct rather than via third parties probably won’t find much benefit from Manufacturer Center. The tool is suited for those that sell either through online retailers or through both online retail partners and directly on their own sites.
The tool is a way for manufacturers to support their retail partners that run Google Shopping ads. Manufacturer Center can fill in data gaps and help ensure retailer ads trigger to show a manufacturer’s products.
Manufacturers that sell both direct and through third-party merchants can have accounts on Merchant Center to run their own PLAs and a Manufacturer Center account.
Analytics in the tool also give manufacturers performance insights, such as the number of times their products appear in Google shopping ads and how many clicks their products get compared to competing products.
“The reports available through Google’s Manufacturer Center help us understand how shoppers interact with our brand so we can optimize our product data and grow impression volume as well as shopper engagement,” said Sonesh Shah, Director of Digital, Bosch Power Tools, in a statement to Google.
There are three ways to provide data to Manufacturer Center:
1. Manually through the UI
2. By uploading feeds
3. Through product data partners such as Salsify and Shotfarm
Manufacturer Center hasn’t opened up widely yet, but interested manufacturers can fill out the interest form to find out about next steps.