Surfaces across Google  enables merchants to display their product listings for free in Google Search, Google Images, the Shopping tab, Google Maps and Google Lens. Google Merchant Center reports click data from free listings, but that’s it. During our Google Shopping session of Live with Search Engine Land  , ZATO Marketing’s Kirk Williams and Smarter Ecommerce’s Mike Ryan discussed how to track free product listing traffic in Google Analytics.
Without tracking, Surfaces across Google traffic will show up as google/organic in Google Analytics. With a bit of work, you can segment it, though. “All you do is you go into Feed Rules in Google Merchant Center to append your new UTM parameters,” said Williams, who quickly came up with a solution to track visits  from Surfaces across Google listings in Google Analytics.
Clicks on Shopping ads will continue to be tracked normally as long as you don’t have UTM tracking set to override auto-tagging in Google Analytics. “Make sure that you’re not allowing your UTM parameters to override Google’s auto-tagging, otherwise when [users] do click through, even on Shopping Ads, it’ll come through as Google Surfaces traffic,” Williams said. To do this, verify that your Google Ads account is set to auto-tag and that the “manual tagging (UTM values) to override auto-tagging” option in Google Analytics’ property settings remains unchecked. Merchants using third-party tracking software likely will not be able to take advantage of this solution, Williams said.
Why we care. Although clicks for unpaid Shopping listings are already tracked in Google Merchant Center, routing this information through Google Analytics enables merchants to track user behavior after the click. This provides merchants with more data on how users are interacting with their sites, which can be used to inform their marketing strategies.
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About The Author
George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.
- ^ Surfaces across Google (searchengineland.com)
- ^ Google Shopping session of Live with Search Engine Land (searchengineland.com)
- ^ FAQ: All about Google Shopping’s free and paid product listings (searchengineland.com)
- ^ a solution to track visits (zatomarketing.com)
- ^ Campaign URL Builder (ga-dev-tools.appspot.com)
- ^ Feed Rules (searchengineland.com)
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