Changes to Google Product Search: Pay Per Click

Monday, June 11th, 2012
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Despite having several names over the past 10 years, Froogle, Google Base, now Google Product Search, and soon to be Google Shopping, one thing has always been consistent; it was free. Now that is changing as well. As Google seeks to improve the user experience (searchers that is) their belief is that with paid participation merchants will be compelled, if not forced, to provide higher quality data. One of the biggest complaints to date by end users with Google’s shopping engine has been the quality of the data among search results. So, it’s Google’s idea that the more serious the participating merchants become in providing product content, the more that translates to accurate results, which ends with a better overall experience for shoppers.

The good news, is that this shift will have no influence on your organic search results. So any progress your products have made when conducting traditional Google searches will be unaffected. To incentivize merchants to jump aboard sooner rather than later, Google is offering 2 promotions for merchants to create Product Listing Ads (which will be phased out by Google Shopping). First, merchants who create Product Listing Ads by Aug. 15 will be rewarded with a monthly credit for 10 percent of their total spend through the end of this year. Additionally, existing Google Product Search merchants can receive $100 AdWords credit toward Product Listing Ads if they fill out this form before Aug. 15. While there’s no definite date on when free product submissions will end, there is much speculation that will be some time this fall.

So, to sum it all up, keep your eyes and ears open for more announcements regarding Google Shopping in the next couple of months.   

Chris is a Senior Account Executive at Nexternal and has been with the company since 2005. Before joining Nexternal he worked in the cloud-based educational software industry. Chris enjoys establishing new relationships with online merchants and working closely with those clients as they grow.


  1. Yes, this is a big shock for small businesses. No doubt, the search is going to get sophisticated but it will kill hopes of lots of budding businessmen. But this doesn’t surprise me!!

  2. Ty

    I understand its their platform and can do what they want, however don’t lie about it. This is not for the end user PERIOD!!! Its all about making money. They already had things in place that required data feeds to be accurate. All they had to do is start enforcing their policy and punish those that did not keep their data up to date.

    Like I said I have no problem with them wanting to make money, but just be honest about it. Of course this takes a lot of business out as they don’t have the budget or the company they sell for has keyword restrictions on PPC ads etc.

  3. Another result of this will be putting a lot more small businesses out of business as they cant afford the pay for click. The big boys are loving this. It is increasing harder for anyone to start a small business on line. More unemployed to come.

  4. Thank you for your feedback Mark! We went ahead and made an edit to the photo regarding “Shopping Search Listings.”

  5. This is pretty big news for any ecommerce business. Even though Google is using the explanation that it will improve the quality of their product data, I think one of the primary drivers of the new initiative is money. It’s their platform, so they can do what they want with it, they are in the business of making money just like any other business.

    One correction to your sample image on this post. Shopping Results come from Google Shopping and that is part of this pay per click change. So I’m pretty sure the Shopping Search Listings (shown in the image) will not be Free anymore. Organic web searches are the only thing that will remain free.

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