We’ve seen a few changes lately with Google Shopping ads that may compel a website to have to pay to regain lost traffic on brand searches.

Here are two recent brand searches for the website, ConantCollection.com.

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ConantCollection.com sells products through distributors who are bidding on their brand terms, but Google has recently put image based Google Shopping ads above the organic brand results. Note also that there are no regular Adwords ads on the right column. This has effectively pushed the company website’s listing and site links down where they can’t compete against the visually attractive product images.

The majority of their traffic comes from branded searches, and their positions haven’t changed — ConantCollection.com remains #1 and #2 for these searches — and impressions have only dropped 1%. Yet, this month, the site has seen a 17% drop in clicks.

True, this case may be isolated (for a variety of reasons) and we no longer have insight into keyword traffic data with Google Analtyics (not provided), but this does seem to us like we’re going to have to recommend that the client pay for traffic from their own brand name.