In order to create equal opportunities, Google opened the advertising platform under the name Google Shopping Europe (GSE) as a price comparison and opened it to external price comparison sites – from so-called Google CSS partners. As a result of this realignment, all shopping ads that appear in Google’s main search results are part of a Comparison Shopping Service (CSS).
Google Shopping itself also functions as CSS (“From Google”), takes part in the bidding auction like the other price comparison platforms and competes with other CSSs that submit bids on behalf of retailers.
In order to use your own price comparison in conformity with the EU, however, Google’s own price comparison retains around 20% of the bid of a retailer who uses Google’s own price comparison as a margin. Only in this way can Google Shopping Europe pass as an independent price comparison, which accordingly also has to work in a profit-oriented manner.
Due to the court ruling, retailers can get a 20% “CPC discount” when you advertise through a CSS. The reason behind this is that Google is forced to make Google Shopping a separate revenue-generating entity.
So, when you get a click from a Google Shopping campaign, 20% of the cost per click goes to the Google Shopping corporate entity, and 80% goes to Google, while, when you get a click from a CSS Shopping campaign, 0% goes to the CSS partner and 80% to Google.
If you use a CSS partner for your advertisements, the margin for Google Shopping Europe is completely eliminated.
For Google users, the difference is hardly noticeable, the only visible change is the added line “From ….” at the bottom of the display.