Google Product Search officially becomes Google Shopping starting in October (which begins Monday), as Google completes the transition it announced in May. This means Google will move to a full paid inclusion model for product results. Merchants will no longer be able to have their products listed for free. This has been the subject of a great deal of controversy in the ecommerce world.
Some opponents claim it will hurt consumers. Some claim it will hurt businesses and competition. Google thinks it\'s best for everybody.
Where do you come down on the argument? Is this a good move by Google or a bad one? Share your thoughts in the comments.
There\'s a good chance you\'re already seeing the new Google Shopping results in action, but we\'ve also seen the old style appearing here and there.
This week, we received some comments from TheFind.com, a member of the FairSearch Coalition, which is a group of competitors who frequently speak out against Google\'s business practices in order to paint the company in an uncompetitive light.
\"As you may know, this Tuesday, October 1, Google will switch to an all-paid search model for shopping and product listings,\" a spokesperson for TheFind said in an email. \"This is uncharted territory, and at the recent Shop.org conference, it was the #1 topic of conversation among retailers. Now, only retailers who pay for paid listings will turn up in Google\'s product search results. Leading marketplaces like Amazon will now be eliminated from product search results — a big blow to consumers.\"
This is what TheFind CEO Siva Kumar had to say:
Google\'s switch to an all-paid model is likely to confuse many consumers who will no longer see every product for their search, but will instead only see paid placements. It will be interesting to see how Google communicates this change to consumers who have come to trust that search results are a combination of ads and organic results.
This change means that using Google, consumers are no longer able to find the lowest price, nor do an exhaustive search for availability of a product among all retailers. Instead, they will only see the results from the small group of retailers who are paying to be on Google and will likely miss out on deals and availability from other retailers who are not participating.
With this move by Google, consumers lose most because they will end up paying higher prices across the board as retailers are forced to pay higher ad rates to Google. Smaller retailers also lose out when they cannot afford to participate in the pay-to-play model to have product appear.
Regarding how Google \"communicates\" the change, Google does disclose that it receives compensation for the listings on product search results pages, and includes \"sponsored\' when they appear in regular search results.
Tags: google, Google Shopping, Shop.org, TheFind.com, pay-to-play