Back in April, Google announced that all merchants would be able to make their products appear on the Shopping label for free, and that the list of free products would now appear on google search results on the main page. Google has positioned the move to allow retailers to increase their digital business presence in the event of store closures without incurring additional advertising costs. At the same time, Google has benefited from making searches appear more products to better compete with Amazon.
Since its inception in the U.S., Google says it’s seen a 70 percent increase in clicks, both for free lists and ads, and up to 130 percent for impressions. Every day, hundreds of millions of people use Google to find products, especially small and medium-sized businesses.
The free list will now appear on the main page of Google search results, first in the product’s knowledge panel and in the Store list, where the search results have abandoned the “Sponsor” label because merchants no longer need to pay to appear. That said, Google is still promoting Shopping ads, but they will appear at the top of the page and be labeled “Store.”
At the same time, the full “Store” label will reveal more places to buy, giving shoppers more choices. This change will apply first to the mobile side, and the desktop search results page will follow up. Google plans to offer free listings in more locations around the world this year.