Originally launched in 2015, Manufacturer Center, which is currently available in 24 countries, enables businesses to upload relevant product information, which Google can then show to users who enter product-specific queries. As per the example below, with this new addition, businesses will now be able to add in custom product information to augment those search results, with a 'From the Manufacturer' panel added to the listings.
It's Google's latest option to give businesses more control over how their business and products appear in search queries - back in November, Google made it easier for companies to share short blog posts within relevant search results via the Google app, while it also added an option to 'follow' businesses direct from Google Maps, providing another interactive search element.
These options add more social-like tools to Google's business promotion suite - with the pending demise of Google+, it appears as though Google's looking to add more business tools into its core offerings in order to fend off rising competition for brand and product search attention from social apps.
It may not be the core function of social tools, but definitely, more brand searches are now being conducted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Facebook already facilitates some two billion searches per day, and while most of them would be for people and groups, more brand and product discovery is happening there. Google had hoped to negate such a challenge through its own social network, but now that it's acknowledged the failure of that tool, its shifting focus to newer additions like this. Google leads the way in online search, by a big margin, and these additional options could make product and company searches more beneficial, both for users and businesses alike.
In addition to this, Google's also improving its analytics tools within Manufacturer Center in order to help provide brands with a better understanding of how ads for their products are performing.
Google's new Manufacturer Center analytics options include:
- Performance trends like top performing product groups and significant changes in performance or price
- Insights on product variants like top search terms for your products and average price trends
- Product group stats like which competitor’s brands and products appear most often with yours
The new tools provide additional options for Google advertisers, new ways for brands to control their search presence and help maximize interest in their offerings. Google may have failed in building a social challenger, but search is where it remains king, and if it can add in new tools which enable brands to customize and improve their presence, that could prove significantly beneficial - especially when you consider the growth in voice search and the reliance such tools will have on Google listings.