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Tue Apr 21 2020 12:30:28

ALERT: Google Shopping Is No Longer Pay to Play!

By: Ina Steiner

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Big news out of Google today - sellers no longer have to pay to get exposure on Google Shopping! That's huge, and it behooves readers to read up on this right away and figure out their next steps.

Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free product listings, the company said.

Former PayPal executive Bill Ready made the announcement on this Google blog post. The coronavirus pandemic intensified the threats faced by the retail sector, he said. With physical stores closed, digital commerce presents an opportunity for struggling businesses to reconnect with consumers - but many cannot afford to do so at scale, Ready wrote.

He described moving away from a pay-to-play platform as a win-win-win when he wrote:

"For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings."

If you have a store on an ecommerce platform that partners with Google, help will be on the way. In addition, Google is partnering with PayPal to allow merchants to link their accounts. "This will speed up our onboarding process and ensure we're surfacing the highest quality results for our users," Ready said.

The changes will take effect in the US before the end of April. International sellers are not excluded, but they will have to wait - "we aim to expand this globally before the end of the year," Ready said.

Once you read through Ready's post, visit the Google help page to learn more.

Please let us know what questions you have, what tips you have for colleagues, and what you think of the move to make Google Shopping free again. Do you think the rivalry for ad dollars between Google and Amazon played a role in the decision?

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for ALERT: Google Shopping Is No Longer Pay to Play!   ALERT: Google Shopping Is No Longer Pay to Play!

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 13:33:17 2020

So now they are going back to free??  Their greedy butts should have never started charging in the first place.. ruined a lot of marketplaces.

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 15:02:49 2020

free is good. so, good job google.

hope this will cause a lot more sellers to leave the fleecebay cesspool

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by: Carl This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 17:51:32 2020

This has probably just sealed the deal for me building my own website.
The thing stopping me was exposure.

I hope it is permanent, not some temporary measure to let people see how good it is before charging again.

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by: ShortSeller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 19:09:59 2020

Nice to see. Don't expect much beyond a few incremental sales but I am sure even that would be welcome at this point given circumstances. If you want to be driving any real external traffic you still will be needing to look at a CPC pay model. For what it is worth, almost all of my problematic transactions were linked back to google shopping feeds back when ebay was still paying google for listings. Best fit for your typical mass market products that are sold BNIB with no caveats as buyers using the feeds lack any context.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Wed Apr 22 00:25:15 2020

Nice, this could be a game changer for us and eBay. I still have an old merchant account with them from an old web site I had so I will be checking it out. I might have to set up one of my domains.

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by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 22 09:25:58 2020

The big question for many of us is what is Etsy going to do about this vis a vis their Offsite Ads program.
They just mandated a 12-15% fee increase on all sales that they claim come from Google, Bing and other search engines.  For sellers with over $10K in yearly sales, they pay 12% and can't opt out of the program.
Will be interesting to see if the compassionate, caring, humanitarian, virtue signaling thieves who run the company give the sellers a break.
At the very least, lower the fee to no more than 2-3%.
I'm not going to hold my breath.  

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Apr 22 12:55:05 2020

I remember when Google started doing this and changing things. With each major change, my sales dropped. Hopefully, this change will be good in a different way. My sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic and with this change, I would like to see them stay up or at least above my regular sales.  

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by: stage_won This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 22 18:30:30 2020

This is not surprising to me since Google and other Silicon Valley companies are under investigation by the DOJ. Read what former Google senior software engineer, Zach Vorhies has to say as he blew the whistle on Google and their social engineering agenda, along with their social credit system. Google already had helped the Chinese government set this up in China to punish their people who don't tow the communist line.

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by: AnotherTime This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Apr 23 01:37:19 2020

Back to basics is good.  I am thrilled by this decision.  It will open the markets again to small retailers.  Now its up to us to write good listings to be picked up.

Etsy take note!  Dump that fake ad promotion fee program you are trying to impose on sellers!!

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by: SellerGirl This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 23 01:42:48 2020

Now that Google shopping is free, that should do away with Etsy's upcharge for Off-site Ads.  According to Etsy, virtually all my sales over $100 come from Off-site Ads, even though my sales haven't increased in number or $$$ from last year when I did no Etsy ads at all.

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by: Evenger This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 23 07:53:00 2020

Seller Girl, I was thinking the same thing.  Is Etsy till thinking they will charge sellers for any sales coming through Google??  Anyone know the answer to that question?

Perminate Link for ALERT: Google Shopping Is No Longer Pay to Play!   ALERT: Google Shopping Is No Longer Pay to Play!

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 23 09:39:00 2020

Seller Girl & Evenger- Yesterday when the news hit I started reading the Etsy forums to see what I could find out.
Cindy Lou Who is someone who seems to be the main authority on the Outside Ads program, aka the new fee increases.  I don't know what her relationship is with Etsy or if she is a paid shill, but she usually has the best info and she is a good writer which is more than I can say for 99% of the idiots who post there.

Anyway, Cindy's thesis is that Etsy is going to continue with their thievery because they are claiming that they ARE still paying for Google ads AND paying for ads on the other platforms.  So they are justified in stealing 12 or 15% from the sellers who make a sale from an alleged Etsy ad.

Luckily I am able to opt out so it won't affect me.  I can't imagine how PO'd the other sellers are who have to come up with the extra 12 % on top of all the other outrageous fees.  It's gotta be up around 20% commission for many.


Perminate Link for ALERT: Google Shopping Is No Longer Pay to Play!   ALERT: Google Shopping Is No Longer Pay to Play!

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 23 10:02:49 2020

I have had google shopping for years on my website.  The problem is my ads just do not show up for all items. The ones that do have wildly inflated shipping charges that are no where on my site.  I have spent hours over years trying to fix this.  Google does not answer emails about it. Bigcommerce has no help on it and the company, sales and orders, that they have this contracted to was no help but to say It is not their problem and I should just go to google to get the answer and then fix whatever issue it is there - what they are being used for I have no idea.
So, I doubt this change will be of any help to me because I get few clicks from google shopping.  But I will try to invest some time trying to fix it again so just in case whatever was wrong can now be fixed.  Personally, I think it is googles way of steering sales to big companies.
Hopefully it will not become paid again and this is not just some sort of scheme to get more sign ups.

Perminate Link for ALERT: Google Shopping Is No Longer Pay to Play!   ALERT: Google Shopping Is No Longer Pay to Play!

by: Laurie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 23 13:27:09 2020

As moonwishes has told us for years....have your own site on ecrater and promote promote promote.  It has done wonders to move stuff off fleecebay and prepare for the inevitable move to mangled payments.  I already received my "cost of sales" report, a whopping 34.7 percent, let alone pp fees!  that is unacceptable when my own website is nearly zero!!  In my pocket I go a hustling....

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This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Thu Apr 23 13:38:08 2020

There is Nothing Free on Google. This is are news coming from google's good heart, Google shopping is been struggling for months, now that most people go directly to Amazopoly, eBay, Walmart or any other billion dollar marketplace. The big issue will be the super crooked staff running the show, suspending anyone who sells anything that attempts to compete with their family members selling without any kind of restriction. And then again, it also means that your items and prices will be there to be taken, analyzed and placed back into the last spot. Good luck : )

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This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Thu Apr 23 19:25:50 2020

Hi Ina, do you know about the new Google Advertising ID requirement, including Google Shopping? My experience is that Googles uses the people with poorest English skills, low pay and low IQ to do Verification for many important things, just like eBay or Amazon do. You will never know who is asking you for your Passport/SS number or Driver's License, which will lead to a lot of scams, not to mention GDPR lawsuits. I get the new advertisers need to be verified, but Google is asking now EVERYONE, even if it only takes a couple of brain cells to know that some legit company doing business for years is not really a potential scammer. I can't wait to get these guys checking my very sensitive information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rmvhwwiQAY

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This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst
Web Site

Thu Apr 23 19:26:36 2020

Just in case you miss what can happen to your info with the new Google Shopping ID requirements

Perminate Link for ALERT: Google Shopping Is No Longer Pay to Play!   ALERT: Google Shopping Is No Longer Pay to Play!

by: TexasTwister This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 24 09:25:41 2020

Don't forget folks: whenever you get a program or service for ''free'' on the internet. YOU become the product. Google is not just being altruistic here.



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