Google Will Now Show Free Product Listings In Its Main Search Result

People in the U.S may have already seen how Google brought a massive change to the Shopping search tab earlier this year that basically allowed businesses to feature free product listings as picked by Google’s algorithms rather than investing their money in paid ads. Well, continuing with more enhancements in the similar idea, Google is now allowing free product listings in the main Google Search results as well all across the US.

Prior to this change, Google only used to show sponsored links in the “product knowledge panel” which only appeared at the time when a user had searched for a product that had a matching list on a particular eCommerce website. While till date, the sponsored links were merely paid ads, but now the panel is going to replace them with free listings.

The feature of free listings will first come on mobile for the users in U.S and then desktop. However, with its implementation shopping ads aren’t going anywhere as well. In fact, they will now appear on top of the page just like other ad units.

Google shifted to free listings in April this year and it has been a successful venture for them with 70% increase in clicks and 130% increase in impressions for both free listings and Shopping tab. These stats were a result of an experiment that involved a control group of a certain percentage of Google traffic that didn’t move to the new experiences as a comparison.

According to the executives, Google has chosen to offer free listings in order to help businesses that have struggled to connect with their customers during the pandemic. But if we also look at the other side of the story, then there has been enough pressure for Google from Amazon as well.

Over the years, Amazon has successfully been able to take away a considerate part of Google’s search ad revenue. This was even proved by an analyst firm eMarketer who showed in their report in the fall of 2019 that Google’s share of search ad revenue is expected to go down from 73% in 2019 to 71% in 2021. This is because more internet users search for products directly on Amazon.

Furthermore, as the coronavirus pandemic has made customers go for online shopping more, this has resulted into a great favor for Amazon who is already enjoying a 26% increase in its first-quarter earnings. But then eMarketer has predicted that Google’s ad revenue will drop for the first time this year - a 5.3% decline which will bring the total down to $39.58 billion, mostly due to less advertising spending by businesses.

The paid listings alone won’t be enough for Google’s Search Service to compete with Amazon. The company will have to work on more ways to offer more best matches for a particular search query by the user.

Nevertheless, Google’s shift to free listing is good news for advertisers as they will enjoy more visibility. Now, it will be entirely on advertisers that how would they plan to make an impression with more range of products.

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